By NEPHI ANDERSON,
Author of "Added Upon," "The
Caftle Builder," Etc.
Salt Lake City, Utah
THE DESERET NEWS,
MARCUS KING, MORMON.
Joy and sorrow, hope and fear, mingled their con-
flicting emotions in the breast of the Reverend Marcus
King. He had sat by his writing table all the afternoon;
yet not even the outlines of his Sunday sermon were
drawn. The sun went down, and the pink in the western
sky turned to a fiery red, which streamed in at the large,
open window and flooded the room with its warm color.
The pale, nearly haggard face of the young man sitting
with his chair turned to the light, was bathed in the soft
Marcus King had reached a turning in his journey of
life. That journey had been, up to the present, one of
ease, having led him by gentle curves and grades into
pleasant places. But now the end of it seemed near;
whichever way he turned, a difficulty of some kind faced
It had come about in this way: One day, as Mr.
King was sitting in his study looking up matter for a ser-
mon, he admitted a man who was canvassing the town
with religious tracts and books. Mr. King made it a rule
to entertain all such who came to him. "If they have a
4 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
truth to give me," said he, "why God be praised for that;
and if they have not, there is no harm done."
The man who called on him that day was a rare
"find," as he proved to be a Mormon, a real, live
Mormon such as he had read about, a Mormon missionary
come prepared with tracts and books to present his doc-
trine to all who would listen. The missionary found Mr.
King a wonderful exception to the usual minister of the
Gospel. This minister had listened attentively to his
message, hzd asked numerous questions, and at last had
invited the "Mormon" to call again. This was the begin-
ning. Many and long were the talks these two men had
after that, until it was well known by the people of
Hungerton that the Reverend Marcus King had the con-
version of a Mormon missionary in charge. Little did
they dream of the true state of things. Little did they
think that it was the minister that had been brought face
to face with a great truth, one that he could not reason
away, try as he would; a mighty truth that stood before
him at all times, close his eyes as he would; a truth that
he could not simply accept and engraft into his own relig-
ion; but a truth so far-reaching and powerful that it
seemed to overturn his own and strip him of every vest-
ige of divine authority as a servant of God and a minister
of his word. In short, that is the reason why joy and
sorrow, hope and fear mingled in conflicting chaos in his
breast that afternoon, when bis work was neglected, and
tomorrow was the Sabbath. Joy was there because he had
found a great truth; sorrow, because of his overturned
idols; hope, for his soul's future salvation; fear, because
of the opinions of those who were dear to him, and whose
lives were intimately connected with his own.
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 5
The brightness faded out of the sky, but how deep
and unfathomable was the blue that came in its place
behind the elms in the garden! The cool evening breeze
swept through the window, and Marcus leaned back in his
chair to enjoy it. An open book lay on the window sill,
and at the sound of approaching footsteps, he hurriedly
closed it and placed it in a drawer; but no one came in,
and he leaned his head again on the cushions of his chair
and gazed out at the sky.
He had been a minister of the Gospel scarcely a year,
a short year it now seemed to him, filled with many var-
ied and pleasant experiences. First, four years at col-
lege. Ah, those were happy years! Then the final prep-
aration for the ministry which his father so fondly hoped
he would follow. It was the one wish of his that his son
should take his place as pastor over the flock at Hunger-
ton, and now at the early age of twenty-five he had occu-
pied his father's place for nearly a year. The chair he
sat in had belonged to his father, the writing table had
been his father's work bench for nearly twenty years.
The fine library, covering nearly two walls of the room,
was his father's cellecting; and there above him on the
wall hung his portrait, looking down upon him with a
smile. What would he say, what would he think of his
son, could he know the thoughts that coursed sometimes
like fiery steeds through his brain? What would the
young man give to be able to talk to his father about
these matters, to get counsel from him!
After all, the religion that was good enough for his
father ought to be good enough for him. What had
saved his father ought certainly to save him. But then,
but then, that was not the point. Would his father not
6 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
have accepted this truth had he been given the chance?
Should not truth be accepted anyhow, no matter when, or
where, or from whom it came? In former days the con-
demnation was that light had come into the world, and
men would not receive it. Was it not the same today,
yes, in all ages of the world?
It was at this point of his reflections that Marcus
King's most inner conscience brought to his understand-
ing the fact that he had received an answer to his
prayers. Much of the theology he had learned at college
and that which he was supposed to teach, was dim and of
doubtful meaning. He had always wished to understand
some of those dogmas which he could not unreservedly
accept. He saw now that doubt, peace destroying doubt?
had been creeping silently into his soul, and to be per-
fectly honest with himself, he could now no longer close
his eyes to the fact. This new light had thrown its
searching rays into recesses of his soul that hitherto had
been unseen, and he could deceive himself no longer as to
Hs true standing. He had been asking for light, and God
had sent it to him. Now he must not reject it.
Marcus must have fallen asleep in the quiet twilight,
for the tired brain ceased its work, and when he regained
consciousness, he heard the soft music of the piano in the
adjoining room. The door was open and the strains floated
in to him.
The melody was a familiar one, and he knew by it
whose fingers so lightly touched the keys. Presently the
music ceased, and there appeared in the open doorway
the figure of a young woman. She was dressed in white,
and held a bunch of great red roses in her hand.
"Am I trespassing?" she asked.
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 7
"What a question, Alice! Come in."
She entered the room and took a seat by the window.
He drew his chair up close to her, pinched her chin, and
then kissed her.
"Your cheeks are full of roses, tonight," said he.
"Oh, I'm always out in the garden since the roses
came. Environment, you know."
' 'It is getting dark. I must have had a nap just be-
fore you came."
"Shall I light the lamp? 1 '
"No, don't. Can there be anything more beautiful
They moved their chairs closer to the window. There
was still a faint blush in the west, and here and there
through the trees twinkled the first stars of the night.
Neither was very talkative, and they sat for some
time looking at the sky.
"Alice," said he they were close together! and he
did not need to speak loudly "you're a pretty good
critic. What do you think of this little well, parable,
I call it? I thought of using it in illustrating a point
"Tell it to me," she said. "Go on, I am listen-
"A certain man had a beautiful pleasure boat, which
he launched on the placid waters of a small lake," began
Marcus. "With him in this boat he took all his relatives
and a great many of his friends. They had with them
also everything in the way of convenience and comfort,
and life with them was very pleasant indeed; for, strange
to say, all this little company thought that the little lake
8 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
on which they sailed back and forth was the only water in
"But one day a man came to the master of the ves-
sel and told him that he and all his company were de-
ceived, and that the lake they were on was but a very
small part of the water of the earth; that at considerable
distance from them was the mighty ocean, teeming with
wonders, whose boundless shores were lined with peoples
and cities never heard of by them. This stranger took
the master and showed him a narrow passage which led
out of the lake; as the master looked he saw that it was
filled with rocks, and that at places the current was
strong and dangerous. The stranger also examined the
vessel, pointing out many weak places in it, and advised
the master that if he ever contemplated leaving the mill-
pond, as he called it, he should get a stronger vessel in
which to make the journey.
"Now all- this had its effect on the master. He saw
the littleness of his and his friends' outlook, and he
longed for the greater knowledge of the vast ocean. But
there were the waves and the rocks and the narrow chan-
nel. He doubted very much whether his friends would
believe in the stranger's words to the extent of following
them. The lake was small, but it was always still, and
even if the vessel was deficient in parts,outwardly it looked
secure, and would, no doubt, carry them as long as was
"And so the master pondered much on the matter,
until well, until his lady love came to him and he pro-
pounded the question to her of what he should do."
"And further, until his mother came and called him
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 9
to dinner," said Alice, as she saw Mrs. King appearing in
the doorway with a lamp in her hand.
"Excuse me, folks, but dinner is ready," said Mrs.
"Yes, mother, we're coming. Let me close the
window, Alice; I feel chilly."
* 'Marcus," said the mother at the table, "you are
studying too hard of late. You look quite haggard to-
night. Don't you think so, Alice?"
' 'I cartainly do. He acts so strangely, too. "
"Oh, now, don't you folks worry about me. My va-
cation next month will bring me around again, won't it,
Alice?" But Alice said nothing. He had reference to the
little journey which they were to take after their mar-
After they had arisen from the table, Alice explained
to Marcus that she had been sent to get him to visit one
of his congregation who was in trouble.
"Yes," said he, "we'll go together. Alice Merton,
you ought to be the shepherd of this flock instead of me.
Come, put on your wraps."
The streets of Hungerton were full of people enjoy-
ing the beautiful evening. The gas lamps flickered dimly
in the bright moonlight.
"What do you think of my parable?'' he asked.
"I don't understand it," she answered.
"No, it is not a good one. There are better in St.
Matthew, especially the one about the merchant finding a
pearl of great price, and selling all he had that he might
buy it. But whom are we going to see, Alice?"
"Henry Sandforcl. He's now in jail."
"What? What' spoor Henry done now?"
10 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"He has been raving again, and last night he tried
to kill the whole family, himself included. It's a pitiable
case, and some thought you ought to talk with him. You
might do him some good."
"Poor man!" was all Marcus said.
The jailor met them on the courthouse steps, and
knowing their'errand, he immediately led the way with his
lantern. Into the basement and along a corridor they
went to where the man was confined. The jailor unlocked
the door, and they all went in. By the light of the lan-
tern they saw a man sitting on a bed in the corner of the
cell. His hands were fettered. He raised his head as
they entered. He was a well-dressed, seemingly intelligent
man of about fifty.
"Good evening, Henry," said the minister, advancing
"Good evening, Mr. King,'* was the calm reply. "If
the good jailor will take these pieces of iron from my
wrists I will shake hands with you."
Marcus looked inquiringly at the jailor, who shook
his head and said: "Couldn't do it, sir. He's all right
now, no doubt, but there's no telling when he might be-
come wild again."
The jailor found a seat for Alice, set the lantern on
a table, and then left, saying that he would be close at
hand in case he was needed. Marcus sat down on the
"My poor friend Henry, so you are in trouble again,"
said the minister. "Can I do anything for you? What
seems to be the difficulty this time?"
"Mr. King," said the man, "I'm pleased to see you;
but it's too bad that you and Miss Merton should have to
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 11
visit such a place as this there, I know you will say that
it is all right, but it isn't for all that. You've no business
here, I've no b isiness here. You ought to be whirling in
the pleasures of life, and I ought to be dead. This cell is too
good for me. The grave is my place, and hell is my
home, my natural home, sir. In the eternal fitness of
things I was meant to dwell there. The great God who
created me, who made the universe out of nothing, sir,
has a right to say where I belong. Hell is my natural
abode, and Satan is my master; and it's all for the
pleasure of God and the manifestation of His glory.''
The two shuddered at his words.
"My dear friend, you are mistaken," said Marcus.
"God is not such a being as you imagine. 'God is love/
Think of what that means. He is not willing that any
should perish, but that all should come to repentance."
"Repentance, did you say? What does that mean to
me? To you and your fair lady it may mean something,
but to me it has no significance. Listen, sir, listen: 'By
the decree of God, for the manifestation of His glory,
some men and angels are predestinated unto everlasting
life, and others fore- ordained to everlasting death.' I am
one of the latter."
"No, friend, you are not."
"I tell you I am. How do you know I am not? How
can anyone know but one's self? I tell you I am one of
the damned, and I can't help myself. And I'll tell you
another thing, friend King, and you can preach it tomor-
row: This heritage of mine I have transmitted to my chil-
dren. They are also heirs of damnation and non-elect
children; and should they live and beget children, this
heritage will also go to them. But I'll stop it all, sir; I'll
12 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
put an end to it. I and mine shall perish off the face of
the earth,and we'll see whether the number of the damned
can neither be increased nor diminished!"
"Let us go, Marcus," said Alice, "I can stand it no
"He is raving mad. We can do no good. I am too
late, too late!" and there was a tremble in Marcus' voice
as he said it.
From the jail they went to the unfortunate man's
family. The wife was in the greatest distress. She told
them how her husband had brooded for a long time on
religious questions, and how at last he had used violence
against them. "Last night was the worst," she said.
"When he came home from work, he would have no sup-
per, but sat glaring like a madman at us all. Suddenly,
he sprang to his feet, grasped the bread knife, and
shouted, Til begin with the youngest!' and made a dash
for the baby. In the tumult which followed, the neigh-
bors came in, and he was prevented from doing any seri-
ous harm; but it was all so awful!"
Marcus could say but little, either to the distracted
mother or to Alice as they walked home that night. The
only remark about Henry Sanford was, that he had found
a rotten plank in the imaginative pleasure boat, and not
knowing how to avert the expected disaster, it had turned
his mind; but Alice failed to get the meaning of the fig-
ure, as she had that of the parable.
The night following the visit to the jail was passed
restlessly by Marcus King. He was up with the first
gray light in the east, and out in the woods above the
town of Hungerton. He loved the freedom and quiet of
the forest, besides it was better than to muse in the
MARCUS KING, MORMOM. 13
close library at home. It would not do to undermine his
health. With loss of bodily strength might come weak-
ness of spiritual power, and he might be called upon any
day now to exercise that to its ntmost capacity. The
inevitable was before him. He was sure of that. He
would have to resign his pastorate, and that at no distant
day; but if he would have the power to sell all he had for
the pearl he had found, why, that was a thing God only
The birds know the value of the morning. Then they
are always out in full force, and that morning they
greeted the early visitor with a wild chorus of melody;
and Marcits envied the happy little hearts, so free from
care and responsibility. Seated at last on a mossy rock,
Marcus watched the sun come up. Was his own sun ris-
ing or setting? Then he thought of his friend Henry
Sanford, confined in a dismal cell, his limbs bound with
fetters; worst of all, he was deprived of that most pre-
cious of gifts, his reason. What had brought him to such
a state? Reasoning on religion, his own religion, the
religion which he had been expounding to his congrega-
tion Sabbath after Sabbath. The demented man had
repeated one of the articles of the Westminster Confes-
sion, which was their articles of faith and rule of prac-
tice. Some men were predestined to everlasting life,
and others to everlasting death, "and their number is so
certain and definite that it cannot be either increased or
diminished." If that be true, why preach any longer?
Of what use were efforts to bring souls unto Christ? The
whole number one way or the other had been irrevocably
fixed. It was the height of folly for him or any other
preacher to try to overturn the unalterable decree of the
14 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
Almighty. There was much reason in Henry Sanford's
It was an abominable doctrine, and who could tell
what misery and pain of spirit it had brought to the
human race! Henry Sanford was an example, and was
not he, Marcus King the preacher, answerable in part for
Marcus climbed further up the hill, and from a clear-
ing in the forest he saw the town at his feet. It was a
beautiful place, and not the least fair was his own home
and the church wherein he was to preach that very day.
The vines had climbed up over the windows, protecting
them from the hot summer sun. The flower beds in the
lawn at the side of the church showed the skill of the
gardener in the diamonds and circles and crosses. The
broad, slow-flowing river half encircled the town and then
disappeared behind the green hills.
And here he was, the Reverend Marcus King, think-
ing seriously of forsaking all this and becoming a Mor-
mon. Think of it, a Mormon! One of a despised, hated
and ridiculed sect- Was it worth it? And there was
Alice, Alice who loved him, and whom he loved. But she
was a good, pure, sensible girl. He would explain it all to
her, and she would not forsake him. They were to be
married next month. With her as his wife, the passage
through the rocky channel could be borne. If all others
forsook him, surely she would not. Thus he reasoned
until the church bells rang up from below and called him
back to the present. Once more he would preach. One
Sabbath more he would parform his accustomed duty, and
that would be the end. So he walked home with that
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 15
The Mormon missionary, Elder James, continued to
be a frequent visitor at the home of the Reverend Marcus
King. An intimate friendship had grown up between
them, and they already treated each other as brothers.
Elder James was a plain, simple man, a little older than
Marcus, not learned in the schools, but thoroughly con-
versant with the scriptures. His language was often
faulty, when measured by the rules of grammar. His
coat was not strictly of the ministerial cut; and alto-
gether his manner was awkward and smattered consider-
ably of the backwoods.
One evening during the week following the Sunday
last mentioned, Elder James was at the clergyman's resi-
dence. They had been considering some Gospel subjects,
and the missionary had been relating some of his exper-
iences on the wild plains of the West.
"Mr. King," said the Elder, "you may wonder why
such an uneducated, unpolished man as I should be sent
out to preach the Gospel; but the truth is that we all go
as the call finds us, both the learned and the unlearned
I mean in regard to worldly wisdom. As for me, I have
had very little chance for schooling. You know some of
our history in Ohio, Missouri, and Illinois. I, with my par-
ents, have been through it all, and you can understand what
chances I could have amid continuous mobbings and driv-
ings and confusion; and then, the last few years have
been spent in the heart of the great American desert,
trying to force bread from a barren waste. My face is
yet tanned from exposure, and my hands have not yet lost
16 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
their callousness. But for all that, my friend, we have
the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ, and what is more, divine
authority to teach it."
"I say amen to that," replied Marcus. He went to
the table, and picking up a small volume, opened it and
said: k 'Would you like to know what I had to do to become
a minister? what all who preach in our church must do,
before they can become ministers? Well, here it is, stated
plainly in our rules of discipline. First, we must be grad-
uates of some college; second, take a two years' course in
divinity; then pass a critical examination; and at last be
taken for a time on trial; and all this, because as it here
reads, it is highly reproachful to religion, and dangerous
to the church to entrust the ministry to weak and ignor-
ant man/ What do you think of that?"
* 'I think that 'God hath chosen the foolish things of
the earth to confound the wise,' even as he did in days of
old when he called simple fishermen directly from their
nets to be ministers of the Gospel. Mind you, I do not
depreciate an education. A scholarly man, if he would
let God use him, would certainly be a shining shaft in
God's hand; but it has been the experience of all time that
the Almighty has worked with the weak things of the
world. They are more pliable in his hand. Not that the
servants of the Lord will always remain weak, though they
must remain humble.
"To change the subject," said Marcus, "how would
you like to preach in the church next Sunday?"
"I would like nothing better, providing it is with
'Well, I don't know about that. I would have to
take the responsibility. I am going to resign. I can't
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 17
stand this double dealing any longer; but I would like to
hear you explain your principles in your simple way to my
congregation, preach a sermon like the one you gave at
the school house in Willow the other evening. How would
it do, if, after I make my explanations and reasons for my
action, I call upon you to explain the first principles?"
"No; it would be taking undue advantage of the peo-
ple. We have had meetings here in your town, we have
distributed tracts to every house that would receive one.
We have given them every opportunity. Your plan would
only bring on opposition."
"Yes; I ran see it. I had, friend James, made up
my mind to preach no more, but I must give my reasons
for resigning, anc 1 I'm going to do it next Sunday."
"You have considered well the step you are taking?
You know the consequences?"
"Yes, to both your questions. I have been three
months now thinking about it. I am going to test your
promise. 'For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain
the whole world, and lose his own soul?' As for the con-
sequence, I know my act will make a sensation, but I
cannot help that. I must follow the light as God reveals
it to me. God must help me in the result. Brother,
pray for me that I may have strength to go through the
Could Marcus King have taken two others with him,
he would cheerfully have faced the world. One of these
was his mother and the other was Alice Merton. He had
carefully introduced the new doctrines to them both,
placing tracts and books in their hands to read; but usually
they had treated them as trifling things not to be taken
seriously. His mother had received the Mormon Elder
18 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
kindly at first, but when his visits continued and Marcus
had him to dinner nearly every day, she had objected.
"I don't want him here,'' she had said with some
warmth. "It is the talk of the town already, that you,
Marcus, who should be a defender of the people against
impostors and wicked men, take into your very home a
member of the vile Mormon sect. What is it coming to?
Are w 3 to be disgraced? Has he won. you over to his per-
Marcus had tried to explain matters, but when she
found that he was actually in sympathy with the Mormon,
and that he defended him, she had been overcome
with emotion. The same scene had been repeated again
and again until Marcus plainly saw that further reasonings
would be useless.
As for Alice Merton, Marcus loved her as he had
loved no other woman, but he had decided what to choose
between love and duty. ' 'Seek ye first the kingdom of
God and his righteousness, and all these things shall be
added unto you," was a promise which he meant to prove.
He had not talked much with her on his changed views;
and she, seemingly, did not get any meaning from the
little figures of speech which he had used. She had partly
assented to some of the views expressed in the pamphlets
he had given her, but the fact that they had come from a
source so ' 'foul as Mormonism' ' was enough to make them
of no consequence.
One day when they had been out sailing on the river,
he had asked her if she would have loved him just the
same had he not been a preacher, but just a common
laborer, say, for example, a mason or a farmer. She had
laughed heartily at the question, and had taken her
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 19
sailor hat and had fanned his red face. He had pressed
her for an answer, and she had said, how could she know.
Then, doubtless, they never would have met.
"But suppose I should now resign my pastorate and
turn farmer, a real farmer I mean, to wear overalls and
work in the fields, would you marry me next month as
you have promised?" He had not smiled, but seemed to
mean what he said, and the tears had come into the blue
eyes of Alice.
"You are cruel," she had said,
"Forgive me if you think so, Alice; but I ask you
the question in all earnestness. It may come to that yet.
We know not what life has before us. My Alice loves
me and will be mine, whatever befalls, will she not?"
And she had yielded her head into his arm, and had whis-
On Friday afternoon Marcus had finished the outlines
of what he should say the next Sabbath. He could not
bring himself to write it out in full. He had thought to
speak to various leading members of his congregation
about the step he was to take, so that it would not be
such a surprise; but that might bring on an opposition
that would prevent him from saying anything, and he
wanted to make the explanation to the whole congrega-
tion. So he said not a word, not even to his brethren in
That Friday evening he called on Alice. The time
was opportune. Mr. Merton was away on business, and
Mrs. Merton had retired with a headache. They would
be alone, and Marcus could speak the plain truth undis-
turbed. Alice looked her best. The dress of soft white,
the roses in her bosom and hair, the quiet, saddened
20 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
smile on the fair face all this beauty went to Marcus
with a force that made his heart throb *ith pain.
Marcus could not hide his emotion, try as he would.
"What is the matter?" she asked, as he took her
hands. They sat on the sofa, and he looked into her face
for a long time. Then he said:
"Alice, I am going to resign my pastorate next Sun-
She said nothing, but her hands trembled.
' 'I am going to be plain Mr. King. Will that make
any difference in your love?"
"No; if that is all. I will love Farmer Marcus King
the same as the Reverend Marcus King. My word and
promise is the same."
"But, darling, you suspect more than that. You can
guess by this time why I am compelled to resign. ''
"What should I know? You have never told me."
"I have found that my position is a false one. My
authority as a servant of God is an assumed one; the doc-
trines I have been teaching, that is some of them, are not
true. God has opened my eyes to a greater light, and
Alice, my darling, I am compelled to accept that,"
"And that light is Mormonism?" said Alice, whose
face was ashen gray.
"Yes; it is known by that name, but in truth, it is
the pure Gospel of Jesus Christ. Listen, Alice, oh, listen
t ome ," she had turned away her head "do not con-
demn me; do not reject the light. We will pray God
together. He will open your eyes as He has mine. We
will begin our new life together, stand by each other
through the trials that will come. 0, Alice, you cannot
conceive of the beauty and the grandeur this new light
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 21
has opened up to me, will open up to you, my darling.
You may not fully understand it now, but you will Alice,
I cannot go out in the cold world without you."
She did not cry out, she did not weep; her love had
changed to fierce resentfulness; her tears had turned to
' 'Ah, yes; I see it all now; you are going to join the
"I know that is a harsh and evil-sounding word, but
if you could only understand the truth, Alice, it would
lose that aspect."
''I hate the word, Marcus. The brand of the devil
clings to it. I shrink from it as I do from perdition. Do
not name it again!"
Then is it all over between us, Alice? you love me no
longer? You will not be my wife?"
' 'Marcus King, a Mormon, I cannot, will not marry.
Be any other honest thing on earth and I will hold good
my promise. Descend to the lowest depth of the com-
moner, be a farmer, a hod carrier, and I will be true to
you, but but th'at other never Marcus, never! 1 '
He saw that it was useless. His hope was gone; and
yet he loved her, loved her more than ever. They had
both arisen, and now they stood facing each other.
Then a power seemed to come to him, a power not of
human origin. He took her hands again, and she made
no resistance. He looked steadily into her eyes, and as
he gazed they softened. Tears slowly filled them, and the
whole marble form relaxed. He clasped her in his arms,
and he was hardly conscious of what he said :
"Darling, darling, you are mine, my very own, for
22 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
time and for eternity. None but I can own you. Re-
member that, Alice, remember it. You are mine!"
He kissed her again and again, then gently laying
her on the sofa, he passed from theroom.
The Rev. Marcus King's congregation was the larg-
est in the town of Hungerton. Lately it had been unusu-
ally large, owing, as some said, to his peculiar preaching;
so that Sabbath when he meant to resign his position,
Marcus found many people in attendance.
It was a beautiful day, and quite cool. The church
and its surroundings looked their best. The people smiled
and greeted each other, and were happy. Marcus came
in exactly at the time to begin. The usual forms of song
and prayer were completed, and Marcus stepped up to the
pulpit. The congregation were as still as death when
they saw their pastor pale and seemingly aged in a week.
He had no Bible, no manuscript, only a slip of paper be-
fore him. His voice was low and full of emotion, as he
began to speak:
' 'My friends, for twenty years did my father oc-
cupy this place, and expounded, with the light that God
gave him, the Scriptures of His word. I have filled the
position now nearly a year, and I hope I shall not be
recreant to any trust by the action I shall take before
you this day. Now, in the presence of you, my friends,
I informally resign my position as your spiritual guide
and advisor. Later in the day I shall formally hand my
resignation to the elders of the church."
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 23
A hum of surprise swept through the congregation.
A load seemed lifted from the shoulders of Marcus King.
Color came back to his face, and he spoke again with a
clear, ringing voice :
"My friends, you are surprised, of course; and I hope
you will pardon me for not sparing you this ordeal. I
wish to explain to you why I have taken this step, why I
have thought it necessary to divest myself of the ministe-
rial office, and I hope you, my friends, will bear with me
in my short explanations. I will offend some of you; but
that I cannot help. I have a position to defend, I have
arguments to give, but I cannot go into detail at this
time. If any of you desire further talk with me on any
points I advance today, I shall be pleased to meet you at
' 'First, then, I have come to this conclusion, that
there has been and is today a universal apostasy from the
pure Gospel of Christ. This falling away reaches to all
sects and denominations of the Christian religion, our own
being no exception.
"This conclusion has been arrived at by carefully con-
sidering the following facts: The Scriptures plainly pre-
dict such a falling away. Even as early as Christ's time,
'The kingdom of heaven suffered violence, and the violent
took it by force.' The early persecutors of the church
killed the apostles and propehts, and none were appointed
in their place. The pagans of Greece and Rome ingrafted
their rites aud doctrines onto the pure vine. This actual
change in the simple ordinances of the Gospel to conform
to pagan ceremonies can be traced historically. Shortly
after the world was in spiritual darkness for over eight
hundred years. As the Church of England puts it: 'Laity
^4 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
and clergy, learned and unlearned, all ages and sects and
degrees have been drowned in abominable idolatry.' The
Reformation of Luther and Calvin did not bring back the
pure Gospel of Jesus. None of the Reformers claimed
any authority from heaven to this effect. They simply
broke the power of Rome. The fruits of all churches to-
day are not what they were in primitive times. Faith
apparently has lost its power to save.
"So much for a general statement. Now I wish to
justify myself by pointing out what I consider errors in
our own confession of faith. I shall take them in their
order as they come in this book," and he reached out and
opened a small volume.
"Regarding the Scripture, this book says: 'The
whole council of God concerning all things necessary for
His own glory, man's salvation, faith and life, is either
expressly set down in Scripture, or by good and necessary
consequence may be deducted from it; unto which noth-
ing is at any time to be added whether by new revelation
of the Spirit or traditions of men.' This statement virtu-
ally closes the mouth of God. What is man that he
should dictate to the Almighty?
"I can no longer believe that God is a being without
body, parts or passions, as this confession teaches, neither
that the Godhead is 'three persons of one substance,'
because that is a contradiction of terms.
"The passage on predestination is familiar to you all.
I shall not read it. I believe the doctrine to be false in
the sense here stated. I have come to see that it is an
awful thing to say that some men are fore- ordained to
hell, and that they cannot help themselves. I do not
believe that God takes pleasure in electing some to ever-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 25
lasting punishment; I do not think such an act
wou^d manifest any of His glory. The doctrine annihilates
the agency of man, and destroys the divine right of
choice. My friends, if you wish to see a practical work-
ing of this teaching, go visit our dear friend Henry San-
ford, in Hunger! on jail.
"I cannot believe that God mide the earth from
nothing. Truth is reason, and reason teaches me differ-
"I do not now believe in the total depravity of the
human race. We are the children of God. The offspring
of an all-good parent cannot be wholly inclined to evil
as this creed teaches.
"I have ceased to believe in this book's teachings of
the calling and election of men, and especially of infants.
Believing, as I do, that men have the freedom to choose
good or evil, it naturally follows that I must believe that
man can fall from grace.
"This confession declares that baptism is not necessary
to salvation; still it claims that this sacrament is the door
into the church. This is inconsistent.
"I shall read the passage about synods and councils:
'All synods and councils since the Apostles' time, * * *
may have erred; therefore they are not to be made the
rule of faith and practice.' I understand scripture to be
made when holy men speak or write under the influence
of the Holy Ghost. We must come to one of two conclu-
sions regarding synods and councils: either the men who
composed them were not in possession of the Holy Ghost,
or else this Divine Comforter has lost its power. I cannot
believe the latter.
"I do not believe in the literal hell-fire here spoken of.
26 MARCUS KL\ T G, MORMON.
4 'Our system of religion makes no provisions for the
salvation of the heathen. I think it lacks in that.
"Our church has not the organization of the first
church, with Prophets, Apostles, etc.
"Our church bars simple men from preaching the
Gospel. Christ chose His ministers from the poor and
unlearned. And at last, to put an end to this painful array,
neither I, nor my fellow ministers, have been called of
God as was Aaron, therefore I have no authority to preach
the Gospel and to administarin its saving ordinances."
At this point some members of the congregation
"My friends, I hope you will bear with me a few min-
utes longer. By what I have said, you may now think I
have become a rank infidel. That is not so. I believe in
the Scriptures and in the power of God to save, more
than ever. And now, if I have taken away from
any of you the staff which has supported you, I wish to
give you a stronger, a better one. I do not believe that
a man should tear down another's house, unless he has a
better one into which to invite him.
' 'My dear friends, I have found that which the mer-
chant In the parable sold all he had to purchase. I am
also selling all I own to secure this prize. 1 wish to tell
you of it, that as many of you as desire may also sell and
"I bear my testimony that God lives, that He has
again spoken from the heavens and restored the Gospel in
its purity, and that the authority to administer in the things
of God has again been given to men in the flesh. The
Gospel is now being preached. Its first principles are
now, as formerly, faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, repent-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 27
ance, baptism by immersion for the remission of sins, lay-
ing on of hands for the gift of the Holy Ghost. The true
Church of Christ has been again organized, with Apostles,
Prophets and all the gifts and blessings which existed in
the Church during Christ's and the Apostles' time. "
A man arose in the congregation and asked the priv-
ilege of putting a question to the pastor, which was
' 'This church you have been talking about, Mr. King,
is it the Mormon Church? Is it the Mormons you have
reference to as receiving this new revelation?"
"Let me explain that," began the preacher, but the
'questioner cut him short with:
"Can you not answer me, yes or no?"
"Yes; I have reference to the Church of Jesus Christ
of Latter-day Saints, commonly known . as the Mormon
"I have had enough," said the man, with a wave of
his hand to the congregation, half of whom arose with
him and left the Church. Marcus said not a word, but
stood in the pulpit until the last one who had any desire
to leave had done so. Then he continued:
"I expected nothing else. Had you stoned me in
this pulpit, I should not have been surprised. We are
steeped in prejudice against that about which evil is
spoken, but about which we know nothing. We are not
willing to prove all things and hold fast to that which is
good, as Paul advised. The word Mormon, my friend,
has about the same sound to our ears as the word Naza-
rene had to the Jews. But I wish to tell you again be-
fore I close that Mormonism is the truth. It will fill that
void in your breast; it will answer your questions regard-
28 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
ing life and death; it will give you clear conceptions of
God; it will clear up many mysteries in the Scriptures; it
will satisfy your soul; it will fill you with joy unspeakable.
I can say no more. Investigate for yourselves; seek the
Lord on the matter. God bless you all. Amen. We
shall sing the doxology."
A very few sang. Marcus uttered a short prayer,
and the services were over. Not one stopped to shake
hands with the minister. One or two lingered as if they
would like to say something, but they, too, walked slowly
away. Marcus gathered a few books and walked out.
The deacon said nothing to him, but solemnly locked
the doors. Marcus picked a flower from a heart-shaped
bed on the lawn, softly closed the iron gate, and went
Thus it came about that Marcus King got rid of his
titles of learning and supposed divinity and became plain
Marcus King, Mormon; and to tell the truth, he was
heartily glad to cast off the burden he had been carrying
these many months. He felt as might the fabled Atlas,
when he rolled the world from his o#n shoulders on to
those of Hercules. His true position before God and the
world was now clear; and even if he stood alone, as he
had every reason to believe, still it was infinitely better
than to continue to play the hypocrite. He might have
kept his position, continued to "teach for doctrine the
commandments of men" and kept the good- will and re-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 29
spect of his friends, even though he did not believe in
what he preached, but that he could not do. Others
might have done it, many do it, but he could not.
Neither Alice nor his mother had been at church to
hear his last sermon. His action had been a terrible
blow to both of them. All the night following, his mother
had paced her room, and the efforts of Marcus to pacify
her acted only as fuel to the flame of anger and mortifi-
cation. Early next morning she came into the library
where Marcus had spent the night. She was partially
composed, but it was with great effort that she spoke.
"I thought that I had a son who would be an honor to
his dead father," she began; "but I now understand dif-
ferent. Why have you brought ignominy on your par-
ents, both the living and the dead?"
' 'Mother, as I have said before, I have done nothing
shameful it is no disgrace to do one's duty as God gives
one the light. I know father, and I think that he. would
have done the same had he been in my position."
"And what will you do now?"
"I don't know, mother."
"I suppose you will go to Utah?"
"Most likely, though that is not definite."
"And how are you going?"
"Well, mother, if I go, it will have to be like the
rest of the Saints, across the Western Plains in a wagon
"Yes, that's it. If you are not killed by Indians or
the hardships of the journey, you will have to live a life of
degradation among the Mormons. And here I shall be
alone. 0, Marcus, don't go! Ycu will kill me, you will
30 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
She broke down and sobbed, and he paced back and
forth by her.
* 'Mother, do not try to persuade me to turn back
now. I cannot do it. I tell you that some day you will
see the need of this step. You may not see it now, but
then you will bless me for it."
To this scene were added many like it between moth-
er and son, until both saw that no good came from them.
The following Monday, the wonderful scene in the
church of the Rev. Marcus King was the talk of the whole
town. It was so unexpected, so new, and so awful that
a minister of the Gospel should from the pulpit say such
things against the church, and then come out in favor of
Mormonism! Nothing in the history of the town had ever
made such a stir. Groups of men stood on the street cor-
ners ' and talked about it. The women went to their
neighbors to tell and hear. The clerk forgot his customer
in his eagerness to listen to the story. The carpenter
sat on his bench, the blacksmith's fire went out, the
baker's bread was burned, the seamstress' needle was stuck
in the dress: Hungerton was all agog.
Marcus did nut venture out that day, but towards
evening he walked down to the river, and followed a street
leading along the stream.
A few people who recognized him in the twilight,
stared at him blankly. On the outskirts of the town
Marcus met Elder James, and together they walked along
the country road. They had much to talk about.
"I congratulate you, Mr. King," said the elder. "I
heard your sermon yesterday."
"What! were you there?"
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 31
"Yes; I sat in the farther corner most of the time,
and then got away without attracting much notice."
"I think you had better remain quiet for a time. The
people are very much worked up, and they lay the blame
on you, you know."
"I think I shall leave town tomorrow for a few days,
at least. We have a meeting this evening, a private one,
just a few Saints and friends whom we can trust. Will
He would like nothing better; so after walking down
the road some distance, they retraced their steps and
entered a small dwelling. A few had already gathered.
Some were strange to Marcus, while three were members
of his former congregation. They were somewhat sur-
prised to see him, but he followed Elder James' example
and pressed them all by the hand. They all chatted freely
together but in a subdued tone, as word had been brought
that a mob would surely break up any meeting the Mor-
mons might hold. Marcus saw that most of those
present were of the poorer working class. He could not
help contrasting his own position that evening with the
one he had held but yesterday,
The meeting was a very informal affair. Singing
was dispensed with, but there was an opening prayer.
Then Elder James talked for a few moments, and he was
f ullowed by some members of the congregation who bore
their testimonies to what they had experienced. One
young woman, Eliza Dixon by name, stated that she had
been to the church the day before and had heard Mr.
King. She had always believed what he said about the
generally accepted Christian doctrines, and when he told
of new revelation and the restoration of the Gospel, she
32 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
was glad because that was what she had been looking
for. Even that morning she had sought out a friend
whom she knew was acquainted with the Mormon mission-
ary. She had been directed to Elder James, and they
had had a long talk. She was ready for baptism, she
One or two others followed in the same strain, and
the elder asked Marcus if he desired to speak. At first
he paid no, but afterwards arose and expressed his plea-
sure in the meeting, It reminded him, he said, of what
he had read of the primitive Christians when they met in
secret places for fear of their persecutors. He had found
the truth, and he thanked God for it. If his words yes-
terday had caused one soul to come to the same knowl-
edge, he had been amply repaid for the effort.
After the meeting, a little band of men and women,
with bundles of clothes in their hands, went silently down
to the river. There, in the shadow of the trees, Elder
James took them, one at a time, down into the water and
A few days afterwards Marcus was visited by a
delegation of ministers. They came to labor with him
and show him the error of his ways; kindly at first; but
when he met their arguments boldly, they changed their
manner to one of ridicule. They rehearsed to him the
usual tales about Joseph Smith and the atrocious Mi r-
mons, at all of which Marcus only smiled. The confer-
ence ended very unsatisfactorily, a3 far as the ministers
Weeks passed. Marcus learned that Alice Merton
had gone to visit friends in another state, to be absent
all summer, so he heard no more of her. He came to no
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 33
better understanding with his mother, and she had now
no great objection to his leaving. Marcus and Elder
James often counseled together. They both saw that it
was useless for Marcus to stay where he was any longer.
His influence was gone. He was now an outcast so far as
Hungerton society was concerned. Marcus also got the
spirit of gathering; he also knew that his future lay with
the Latter-day Saints. From one view point, his upward
career in the world had suddenly ceased, and he had been
precipitated to the bottom. He must begin life anew,
and begin at the bottom. The sooner he began the bet-
ter; so it was good-bye to Hungerton and all its familiar
scenes. There was an attraction westward, to the new
Zion arising from out the great American desert, and
Marcus made all preparation for the journey.
On the train which bore him westward Marcus met
an old college acquaintance, who was going on a vacation
trip to his old home in Missouri before he settled down to
"You see," explained his friend, "I had a pretty fair
position where I have been, but there wasn't enough
salary in it. A person can't live on fifteen hundred
a year and keep up appearances, you know. So I got a
call from an adjoining church with a salary of two thou-
sand dollars, and of course I accepted. I am going to
arrange for my house, and you must come and see me
when I get settled."
"I fear I shall not be able you haven't heard no,
of course you haven't; but I'm not a minister now; I've
given it up I have resigned."
"Why, what's the matter, Mark?"
"Well, you know we used to have great times dis-
34 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
cussing theology at school. You also know that we didn't
believe half that was taught us. Still you and I and hun-
dreds of others said nothing about our honest opinions,
but sold our consciences for a salary. Some got a thou-
sand, some fifteen hundred, and some more. I've quit
His friend looked surpriseJ, and hardly knew what
"You're startled, of course, and shocked; but I'm
not sorry; what I have lost in worldly things I have
gained in heavenly. You don't understand that; of
course not." Whereupon Marcus told him the whole his-
tory of the past three months.
His reverend friend leaned back in the car seat and
said nothing. He seemed shocked beyond utterance.
Marcus went on explaining to him the principles of Mor-
monism, and he was not interrupted. Only once did he
"Friend Marcus, all that you have been saying about
the 'principles of the Gospel' is all right enough in its
place, but you know that we have placed too much em-
phasis on creeds and dogmas. A true and living faith in
Christ, a love of Christ, is, after all, the only essential.
You surely could have taught that and kept your posi-
"Yes, I know that theologians are drifting into the
belief that articles of faith, creeds and doctrinal prin-
ciples have nothing to do with Christ and the church;
but I differ. Creeds are necessary, foundation principles
are necessary. Christ taught them. Principles are the
forerunners of practice. When creeds and doctrines are
wrong, the fruits they bear are evil. Teach people cor-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 35
rect principles and their lives will be all right, said Joseph
Smith; and that doctrine is sound."
"And so you are going to Utah?" asked his friend
after a pause.
"I'm going to try."
"Well, Marcus, I can only hope that you'll get out of
this alive. I don't know much about the Mormons, but
father does. He helped to rid Missouri of them. My
dear friend, I pity you."
"Spare your tears, old boy. You may need them
in your next sermon, especially if you speak of the dam-
nation of the heathen, or the final state of l-he unregener-
That ended the talk. Marcus soon changed cars and
his friend went on his own way.
Marcus' destination was away out on the prairies of
the west, where he would meet Elder James and prepare
for the trip across the Plains to Salt Lake City.
It was the latter part of July when he reached Iowa
City, which was then the western terminus of the railroad
and the fitting-out point. Of all the strange scenes which
he had witnessed thus far, that at Iowa City was the
most interesting and wonderful. Here for the first time
he met a large number of his co-religionists. At first
he experienced a shock to his feelings at sight of their
personal appearance, but when he understood that they
had traveled long distances from various quarters of the
earth, his good sense told him that they could not have
36 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
the appearance of stay-at-home Christians in the town of
Hungerton, for instance. When he arrived, there were at
least six hundred Mormons, most of whom were from
Great Britain, and expected to get to the Great Salt
Lake Valley that fall. How were they to do it? They
seemed to be extremely poor. There were very few
horses, mules, or even oxen, and less wagons.
As they took a walk out among the camp, Elder
James said: "Here you see an answer to your question.
See what these men are busy with! These two wheeled
carts are to carry their clothing and provisions."
"And who are to pull the carts?" asked Marcus.
"They themselves, the men, perhaps the women."
"How far is it to the Valley?"
"Thirteen hundred miles."
"And I understand there are burning deserts and
rough mountains to cross?"
"Oh, yes, more than one."
"And they will have to walk every step of the way?"
"Yes; most of them. Hundreds have done it, and
no doubt these will also do it. You see, they must get to
the Valley. They can't stay here. This company will
start in a few days. It will be rather late, but they will
be able to make it, if they have moderate luck."
"But, Brother James, I can't see how they can do it.
It will be awful the women and children!"
''You've read of the Pilgrims and the MayflowerT'
"Yes; but, great heavens, that was nothing to com-
pare with this!"
Marcus was soon made acquainted with the leaders
of the people, whom he found to be intelligent men of
Elder James' type. By their advice he bought a yoke of
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 37
oxen, a wagon, provisions, and other necessary articles.
Elder James helped him. He gave the young man some
practical lessons in yoking and controlling his oxen. It
was all extremely new and strange, but Marcus went to
work in earnest, and soon mastered the art of swinging
his buckskin whip with a "gee" or a "haw." Elder
James was not going west; but he arranged with a family
to do the cooking for Marcus, that he might be freed
from that responsibility.
A few days after his arrival at Iowa City, the hand-
cart company was ready to be off. That morning there was
a scene, a scene in which mingled the ludicrous and piti-
able: the six hundred men, women, and children on the
move westward. Each family, or group of four or five,
had a cart in which were loaded their provisions and
clothing. The carts were simple affairs: two wheels with
light frames over the axles and with short shafts. At the
end of the shafts were cross bars which projected out on
each side. Here the "human horses" attached themselves
and started off. There were a few wagons along, drawn
by oxen. These carried provisions and some of the heavy
Marcus went up to a cart that had stopped. They
were adjusting the load, and there was some discussion as
to the best position of the pullers. The cart was owned
by a poor English family, and was not a very substantial
one. The axles were of wood and the boxes of leather.
The father got in the shafts to be the main propelling
power, his wife took her place by his side and grasped the
cross bar, and a fifteen year old son went on the other
side. A grown daughter' had arranged a kind of harness
of leather straps which she fastened - over her shoulders
38 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
and then to the end of the shafts. Thus away they
went, while a little three year old boy sat on top of the
load, shouting in great glee.
Marcus walked with them some distance. The whole
scene had a strangeness about it. Everybody seemed hap-
py enough. They laughed and shouted to each other,
and made their jokes at each other's expense; but Marcus
could not help thinking of the thirteen hundred miles
"Come, brother, where's your cart?" some one
greeted Marcus; and he turned to see the broad smile of
an English girl, who was pulling very little on a cart. Two
young fellows were doing the work. ''Hi'm the driver,
ye know, "she laughed. "What do you think of my
"They'll do," replied Marcus, "I think they will take
you through. "
But all did not take the matter so pleasantly. A
number were discontented and grumb'ed. Others said
they would not be able to make it, and Marcus looked
into their sad eyes and believed them. It seemed worse
for the older people and the children. Some of the latter
soon got tired and cried, and then the father, or per-
chance the older brother, would lift the child up on his
shoulders and carry the extra weight as he pulled his
And all of these people had left their native land for
this! Most of them hai been tossed about for long
weeks on the ocean to get to this! Many had left com-
fortable homes to travel footsore and weary across these
plains! Yes, there would be no more rest for many of
them until they laid their weary bodies down under the
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 39
sod of the prairie! And it had all been done for the love
of the Gospel, for the love of the light which had made
him also an outcast from home and a wanderer among
strange peoples and lands.
Marcus turned and went back. When he looked
around again, the train was hidden by a rise in the road,
and only the thin cloud of dust which arose above it
showed their westward path.
About a week after the departure of the hand-cart
company, Marcus started with the wagon train. The
last act before leaving was to mail a letter to his mother.
The season was late, but the company was small and they
could travel rapidly. Marcus soon learned to accommo-
date himself to his surroundings. He followed the ex-
ample of the other teamsters and walked by the wagon
most of the time, although he could have ridden. Elder
James had explained to the captain of the company Mar-
cus King's former position, and he had made it as easy as
possible for the ex-minister. Had Marcus known this he
would have resented it. He felt as though he wanted to
work with the rest. He was no better than they, even
though his whole life up to that time had been one of
bodily ease, and his training unfit for the life of a % pi-
After the day's journey, Marcus was ofttimes ex-
tremely tired; and when the tents were pitched and the
fires were lighted (which was only when they had plenty
of wood and there was no danger of Indians), he never had
40 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
strength to join in any merriment. At first, the dancing
in which they often indulged, seemed strange to Marcus.
Why should religious people dance, especially on such a
journey? After the hard day's toil, out would come a
violin, a space on the grass would be cleared, and a dozen
couples merrily whirled into the strains of the weird mu-
sic. He had once expressed his doubt as to its propriety
to a brother teamster who had crossed the plains a num-
ber of times, and the explanation had been given that it
was a good thing to drive away "the blues." They had
been standing looking at a merry crowd, and at that mo-
ment a good-looking, roguish maiden stepped up to them,
and said that she was looking for a partner. The team-
ster had instantly taken the girl's arm and slipped it into
Maicus', and before he krew what he was doing, he was
whirling away with her over the soft grass. The truth
was, as he afterward learned, that the girl had taken the
bold step that she might say she had danced with a very
sanctimonious sectarian minister. After that, she was
not the only one with whom he stepped to the time of the
But they did not always dance during the evenings.
There were a good many fine singers in the company, and
the songs of Zion often rang out over the still, moon-
lighted prairies. They always rested on Sunday and had
religious services. Marcus was interested in the strange
serinons often delivered, and he could not help contrast-
ing them with the smoothly-flowing, logically- arranged
discourses which he and his fellow ministers had been
trained to give. There were a number in the company who
were returning 'home from a two or three years' mission,
and the experiences which they related were extremely
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 41
interesting. Marcus was asked to speak a number of
times. Dressed in a blue "jumper," and his corduroy
trousers tucked into the tops of long boots,, he mounted
the dry-goods box and did the best he could under his
changed environments. One day he told them his history
how he came to a knowledge of the truth. After the
meeting, an elderly lady came up to him with tears in her
"Dear brother, God bless you," she said. "1 left a
boy at home a boy about your age. He is in the semin-
ary learning to be a Methodist preacher. He couldn't
see the truth, though I talked with him about the Gos-
She clung to his hands and looked the young man in
the face, while the tears slowly trickled down the care-
worn furrows in her cheeks.
"And you also have a mother?" she asked.
"Yes; I have a mother at home." She still clung to
his hands; and a big lump arose in his throat. If ever
he had seen a saintly face, he thought, this must be one
before him. His eyes grew dim; he could not see the
wagons, or cattle, or tents; the rolling prairie faded as a
dissolving view, and another picture came into its place,
a wonderful, ever-changing picture. It was his mother
and Alice, fair Alice, with a sweet, sad smile; the old
home embedded in trees and flowers; the cosy study with
walls of b^oks; the church and upturned faces; the hills
covered with forests; the river, bending in broad silvery
bands around the town of Hungerton; and every trifling
detail mingled and mixed, then stood out in clear distinc-
tiveness in this wonderful kaleidoscopic picture.
42 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
' 'Brother King, will you come with me to my tent? 1 '
said the sister. "I do want to talk with you."
"Yes, I shall be pleased to."
She led the way to a tent. The sun was sinking
through a hazy sky. The wild odor of the plains pervaded
the evening air. The camp lay as a speck of life on that
vast level surface, even as a lone ship in mid-ocean. Be-
fore some of the tents small fires blazed, and there were
the usual preparations for the evening meal.
' 'Janet, Brother King has come to eat supper with
The girl busy at the fire suddenly straightened her-
self. Her mother's greeting startled her, and she looked
"I invited him to come and see us, and of course
he'll stay to supper. I want to have a talk with him, he
reminds me so much of your brother David. Haven't you
met my daughter before, Brother King?"
"Not to speak to her, I think," said Marcus.
"I am pleased to meet you. Brother King," said the
girl, giving him a warm shake of the hand.
"Can you find a seat? We left our chairs at home
you know. Here, take this box let me put this quilt
. Marcus looked, nearly stared, at the girl. She wore
a dress of light calico, which became her as though it
had been of a much finer material, fitting perfectly the
full, rounded, but not large figure. Her face was full of
warm color, and she had red hair. The novelist would
have called it auburn, or golden, or some such evading
term, but in truth it was plain red ; and it was just the
proper color, too. Any other shade would not have
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 43
blended so naturally and beautifully with that clear, rosy
skin. The girl's faint, pleasant smile and easy, graceful
manner as she moved about the camp, also drew the
young man's attention.
''Now then, dear folks," said Marcus, perceiving
that they were making some extra effort for his comfort,
"do not put yourself to any inconvenience on my account.
Though this life is new to me, if I mistake not, it is
equally foreign to you."
"Yes," said the mother, "we made great sacrifices to
get to Zion this! year, and this mode of traveling is hard
on old people like me but mind, I'm not complaining; if I
may but lay my bones with the people of God, I shall be
4 'Mother's always talking of laying down her bones,
Brother King, when the fact is, that she's strong and will
live many years yet. She stands this trip nearly as well
as I do." *
The meal of milk and bread and fried bacon was
spread out on a cloth in the tent, and bundles and boxes
were brought upon which to sit. Sister Harmon (for
that was her name) also brought out a tin of preserves.
"Where did you say you came from, Brother King?"
asked the mother.
Marcus told her.
"Why, Janet, we lived within ten miles of Brother
King all our lives. We came from Newton, ten miles from
Hungerton. You know the place."
"Yes," said he, "I've been at Newton a number of
times; but I'm not acquainted much there."
"Well, it's interesting, anyway, isn't it, Janet?"
"It's quite strange," answered Janet. "Have an-
44 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
other piece of bread, Brother King. Ashes got in my
bake pan, and it's not very nice looking, but"
"Don't offer a- y excuses, sister; I think I can un-
derstand all your difficulties in the way of cooking."
"Well, well,'' the mother continued to repeat, "and
so you're from Hungerton. Strange that I should not
have seen you. I've been there a number of times. Do
you remember to have met Brother King, Janet?"
<4 No, I do not now remember, mother. Have some of
this preserve. This came all the way from home."
And so they talked and ate. Sister Harmcn told of
her son David who ridiculed Mormonism. What a time they
had had with him, and how angry he had been when he
learned that they were going to Utah. Janet said but
little, and Marcus tried as best he could to cheer them.
He found that he was not alone in trials. No doubt these
two women had passed through much tribulation for the
truth. Perhaps every soul in that camp had made a sac-
rifice, many of them greater than his own. His visit
that evening helped Marcus to be more contented with
his lot. Hf was not such a hero, after all.
Westward, westward the emigrant train moved,
rolling in long procession across the prairie, slowly climb-
ing the hills and coming down the inclines with rattle and
confusion. Every night the wagons were placed in a
circle forming a corral or enclosure, into which the cattle
were driven next morniag to be yoked. The daily routine
of the same things, day after day, week after week, be-
gan to be irksome to Marcus King. At the end of a
month, it seemed to him that they might have passed half
way around the globe.
Still westward they moved. The season was getting
MARCUS KING, MORMOM. 45
late, and they would have to hurry. The nights began to
be cold, and a number of the last streams had a coating
of ice. Marcus was sunburnt and roughened and shaggy
enough for any frontiersman. He might now have walked
through the streets of Hungerton without being recog-
He was always free and friendly with every member
of that company, but still there are always preferences.
He seemed to find the best companionship in Sister Har-
mon and her daughter. He soon learned that they
were of a class akin to the one to which he had belonged.
Their modes of living, their thoughts and tastes, had been
like his own. They were intelligent. Janet had been to
the best schools. Marcus had no doubt that the now cal-
loused hands could better bring sweet sounds from ivory
keys. This preference was natural enough. It takes
time to make radical changes in thought and action, and
Marcus could not be blamed for ofttimes passing the
wilder, more boisterous group to have a quiet chat with
Janet and her mother.
One morning Janet came to where Marcus was walk-
ing beside his wagon. Her mocher had not been well
enough to walk, and it had been lonesome without her.
"I'm so glad you came over," Marcus said, when
she tried to give some excuse for coming. "I'm glad to
see you, Janet. Walk along with me awhile and we'll
have a talk."
There had been a brisk shower the night before, and
the road did not give out its usual cloud of dust. The air
was cool, and it was a pleasure to begin the day's jour-
ney. Janet took off her large straw hat, that the cool
breeze might better blow into her warm face.
46 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"Janet, I think you might have let your mother fin-
ish that story the other evening," began the young man.
Janet got the whip and proceeded to give it a number
of fire-cracker pops; but she did not answer Marcus.
"It promised to be a regular romance. I always did
admire a good story, and I haven't read one for so long,
that I fairly hunger for one. You tell me it, Janet."
"It was nothing, indeed it was. Mama colored it so.
I \\asnearly out of patience with her."
"Which was wrong."
"Of course it was; I was sorry for it. Did you see
the handcart company start from Iowa City?"
Marcus smiled at her turning of the subject.
"Yes; and the captain said yesterday that it is not
"I've wondered all along why we do not overtake
"Brother Brown said that a handcart company of
strong young people can beat any ox-team across the
Plains; but I understand this company just in front has
many old people, and they are having a hard time.
Then he told her of the start he had witnessed at
Iowa City. "It would have been extremely funny had it
not been for the sadness of the scene. Your mother was
just saying, the other evening, when you interrupted her,
"Brother King, how is it that we haven't seen any
Indians? Our friends at home said we would be scalped
sure, but I told them that no Indian would dare to touch
my hair he'd burn his fingers if he did.
"I hadn't heard that red-skins were afraid of of,
that is "
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 47
"Of red hair. How stupid you are! What's the
use of being so delicate about telling the truth. It's red.
and I know it, and you know it. I'm not one of those
people who do not like to be told their hair is red."
"Well, for my part, I think you are sensible in that;
besides some people look better with red hair. I don't
think the Creator made any mistake. I believe this sub-
ject had a bearing -on the story your mother was telling.''
"It hadn't; not a bit."
"Well, how did it happen, then that "
"I must go to mother. She may need me."
"No; she doesn't. See, she's sitting up in the
wagon, and talking to the driver. I'll warrant she's tell-
ing him the rest of that story."
"O, Brother King, you're an awful man!'*
Then they both laughed and walked on for a few min-
utes in silence.
"Shall I tell you that story?" she asked.
"Well, once upon a time "
"Now, don't compose as you go along."
''Don't interrupt me, or I shall lose the thread of the
"Excuse me. ''
"Once upon a time a young man and a young woman
who had red hair were engaged to be married. The
young woman became a 'Mormon' and the young man
wouldn't have her."
"That's pretty short."
"Yea; the engagement was pretty short."
48 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"You don't seem to be sorry over it."
' Tm not a bit sorry. I'm glad it turned out as it
"Won't you get on my wagon and ride? You must
"Oh, no; I'm not. I want to hear your story now."
"Yes, your story; now don't deny that you have
"No, Janet, I'll not deny it. I have one and I'll tell
it to you."
Their laughter had ceased.
"It's very strange our two stories. Janet, if I
hadn't become a 'Mormon' I would now have been a
married man, and had for a wife the sweetest and best
"It must have been hard for you. You cared, I can
"Cared! I wish I hadn't. I wish I didn't now care;
but I don't know that I should say that; it may be wrong.
Yes, Janet, Alice Merton is a good girl, but of course she
doesn't understand. I would gladly have left all the rest
if only Alice had come with me."
Marcus had become so earnest that Janet could say
nothing. At this point the train came in sight of an im-
mense herd of buffaloes, They had been to the river for
water, and were now heading for their feed grounds again.
The great moving mass seemed to be coming directly upon
the long train. Apparently, the train of wagons was
directly in the path of the herd. As the animals came
nearer, the captain of the train came riding on a mule
and shouted orders to the drivers. The front wagons
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 49
were hurried forward as fast as possible while the captain
rode by Marcus, and the very next wagon behind him was
ordered to turn about as quickly as possible. This move-
ment made a large gap in the train, for which the leaders
of the buffaloes now made. The earth fairly shook as on
Janet stood still for an instant, then with a cry
turned to run back across the gap.
"Mother, mother's back there!" she said.
Marcus caught her and forcibly held her. "Your
mother's all right," he said. ''The buif aloes will tramp
you under foot. Come, get back here."
The foremost animals were now in the opening, and
the herd pressed closely behind. They swept through
with great shaggy heads, wild eyes, and dilated nostrils-
The drivers stood guard over the nearest cattle, to pre-
vent any stampede. As the last stragglers went galloping
by, pop, pop, went the rifles, and a buffalo dropped not
twenty yards from where Murcus was standing with Janet
clinging to his arm.
"I couldn't let that chance go by without getting
some fresh meat," said the hunter, one of the teamsters.
Janet was pale, and trembled violently. As soon as
the wagons drove up again, she hastened to her mother,
and there she had a good cry.
That evening the whole company had fresh buffalo
steak for supper, Marcus came to Sister Harmon's tent,
as he said, to see what practical value Janet's course in
the cocking school had been; but that evening after the
company had gathered for prayers, and thanks had been
given to God for His watch care that day, Marcus touched
Janet's arm and said:
50 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"Those^ things we were talking about today let it
be only between you and me."
"Yes; of course," she answered.
"Then good night."
The company lay at camp in the hills of Wyoming
All that day the weather had been cold, and now a sharp
wind was blowing from the north. The sky was full of
clouds, and there were all indications of a storm, and a
snowstorm at that. What if winter should burst upon
them now while they were yet a month's travel from the
Marcus King began to realize what it meant to be a
Mormon in that day. Their company had been well sup-
plied and were not as yet suifering, but there was no tell-
ing what the future would bring. The hand-cart company
was just ahead. The newly-made graves which the wagon
company passed, indicated the condition of affairs with
the people in front. Marcus thought of that start in
Iowa. What they must have suffered! What they must
yet suffer to reach their destination!
That evening Marcus took his gun and walked out
over some low hills skirting the road. It was a wild even-
ing. The clouds hurried across the shining moon. He had
heard the cry of a wolf and made his way towards it. He
could see the creature sitting on a rocky knoll, and his
unearthly howl added to the night's dismalness. Present-
ly another cry come upon the wind. The wolf saw Marcus
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 51
and trotted slowly off. The strange sound come again
surely it was the cry of a human being. Marcus instantly
thought of Indians, and turned towards camp, when, from
out of a ravine into which the wolf had been looking, came
the distinct cry of a child. Marcus paused and peered
down into the shadows. He thought he discerned some-
thing under a bank, but it might be an Indian camp or
perhaps a party of hostile savages.
The wind came up in great sweeps from the ravine,
carrying with it that human cry. Marcus was in doubt.
Perhaps some belated emigrant was perishing. The night
was coming on, and no one could live through it unpro-
tected. That cry was of a child. Marcus went cautious-
ly forward down the ravine. Presently the moon cast a
hurried stream of light, and the outlines of a cart were
plainly seen. Marcus quickened his steps, and from un-
der the bank came the faint cry of "Mama, Mama."
"Hallo," shouted Marcus.
There was no answer, but the child ceased its crying.
He leaped down the bank, and as he did so, a woman
started to her feet. She had a child in her arms. In the
shelter of the bank sat a man. His knees were drawn up
and his head rested upon them. The cart lay overturned
under the bank.
"Who are you? What is the matter?" asked Marcus
The woman seemed to be half asleep. The man did
not stir. Marcus saw that something must be done im-
mediately. He went up to the woman and shook her vio-
"Come, you're freezing to death here. Come, wake
up and move. Our camp is not far away."
52 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
She at last realized her position, and with a glad cry
began to talk to her child. She shook the man by the
"Get up, John," she said. "Someone's come to help
us. Camp's not far off. Come, John, 0, John, get up.
We're saved, John 0, please sir, I'm afraid he's gone.
Help me get him up? He's freezing to death, 0, John,
The child wailed piteously, and the mother tried to
soothe it by pressing it closely to her breast. Marcus
pulled off his coat and wrapped it around the child. Then
he took hold of the man, and by the woman's help, they
got him back to consciousness.
Another chance for life nerved the woman to
strength. She helped Marcus right the cart, and then
worked diligently with her husband, who, when he at last
realized where, he was, took hold of the cart and walked
behind, as the woman and Marcus pulled it towards
The woman explained in a few broken sentences that
they had somehow become separated from the company,
and having left the road, the cart had fallen over the
bank. They had tried to lift it up again, but they were
both so weak that they could not. Thus they had waited
for help, and had sat down to rest, which would have been
their last had not Marcus come to their assistance.
When within hailing distance of the camp, Marcus
shouted, and a guard came out who helped them into
camp. Marcus took them to his tent and then sent for
Janet to come and help take care of them. By the light
of the tent lantern, Marcus saw that the woman's face
was familiar to him, but he could not place her. After
MARCUS KING,"MORMON. 53
they had been made as comfortable as possible he asked
" Where have I seen you before?"
"At Hungerton. My name is Eliza Dixon, and you
are Marcus King."
Such was the case. That last sermon of his in the
Hungerton church had moved this woman to investigate
and embrace the Gospel. She had told her husband and
he had believed; and here they were perishing in the wil-
Next morning Marcus went to the captain's tent and
said to him:
"Those people I brought to camp last night well, it
will be impossible for them to go on with their hand-cart.
The man can hardly walk and the woman is not much bet-
ter; and then the child"
"Well, Brother King, what can we do?"
"If you have no objection, they can take my outfit,
and I will take their cart and go on with the hand-cart
. The captain tenderly placed his hand on the speaker's
shoulder and said:
"Do you know what a sacrifice that would mean to
"I think so, at least, partly; but I cannot do other-
"Then all right, and may the Lord be with you."
When Marcus told his rescued friends of his purpose,
at first they cried for joy; but then, when they understood
its full meaning, they tried to prevail on him not to do so.
It would be too great a sacrifice. But Marcus was firm in
54 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
Early that same day the wagon company overtook the
hand- carts, and as the wagons went on Marcus stopped
with Jchn Dixon's hand-cart in chrge. Janet and her
mother looked mutely at him, but could say nothing; and
as he took their hands to say good- by, the captain came
up. Placing one hand on Janet's shoulder and another on
Marcus', he said:
"Brother King, by this shall all men know that you
are a disciple of Christ you have the true sign, the true
love of Christ. God bless you."
No mortal pen can fully describe that hand-cart jour-
ney from the bleak hills of Wyoming to the valley of the
Great Salt Lake; and the pen that writes these words
shall not attempt it but just a word:
Winter came on in all its fury, and through the snow
and sleet the poor half-frozen, half-starved travelers
dragged their carts along. Every day some one gave up
the struggle, and was laid under the frozen sod by the
wayside and there left. Husbands left wives, wives left
husbands, parents left children, and children left parents
and the broken remnant still struggled westward. They
climbed the hills, they waded the freezing streams. The
piercing wind blew through their thread-bare clothing.
They starved, they froze, they died. Had not help come
from the valley, they would all have surely perished.
Marcus King reached the lowest possible stage of
human misery and suffering on that journey; but he had
one thought which sustained him. It was the thought of
Christ in the garden and on tha cross. He suffered for
others, and He was God's Son. Marcus, in a way, was
following in his Master's footsteps. "Take up thy cross
and follow me, " rang in his ears, and through all that
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 55
desperate struggle for existence it was the only anchor to
his soul. And yet through all that terrible misery, there
was a peac3 in his breast. Whence it came Marcus was
in no state to reason out; but afterwards he knew: The
performing of a sublime duty carries with it a peace of
soul which surpasseth understanding.
A beautiful spring morning crept over the rugged
Wasatch Mountains and into the valley of the Great Salt
Lake, as Marcus King walked slowly up the path wind-
ing along the sage-brush plains. His face was pale, his
features pinched, and his steps were those of a sick man.
When he reached the bank of the small stream, he sat
down on it, bared his head, and sat looking out over the
valley towards the distant mountains.
Every morning for a week he had taken this walk,
and it had done him much good. His strength was com-
ing back to him, and with his strength came renewed
hopes and new aspirations.
Marcus had certainly been near death's door. For
two months since his arrival he had been hovering between
this world and the next, and one more experience had
been added to him, namely, the power of the Priesthood.
Time and again the Elders of the Church had anointed
him with oil and prayed for him, and instantly he had felt
that once more he had been snatched from the hands of
the destroyer. It had surely and literally been a battle
between life and death with him; but now he had the vic-
tory, and he was on the way to a speedy restoration to
his usual health.
When spring came at last and he could get out of
doors, the strangeness of the country came more forcibly
56 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
to him: the grand, rugged, treeless mountains; the wild,
bare bench lands; and the marshes near the lake. In his
walk that spring morning he counted the little, low, log
huts of the settlement and found the total to be seven-
teen; and none of them were older than five years. They
stood on both sides of a broad, straight street, along both
sides of which rows of trees had already been planted.
As yet, little of the surrounding land had been cleared of
the gray sagebrush. The small garden plats by the side
of the cabins were just sprouting out into long, green
Marcus went back home quite tired that morning. He
sat down on a bench on the south side of the house under a
roof of freshly-cut willows and cottonwoods. Eliza Dixon
was busy getting breakfast. Marcus had his home with
John and Eliza, and they had done for him all that loving
hearts could devise and willing hands could carry out. The
poverty of that winter and spring is well known in history,
and these people suffered with the rest.
"I'm going to help you plant potatoes this afternoon,
John," said Marcus to his friend that morning.
* 'Are you strong enough?"
'I can do a little; besides, I must learn to be a far-
mer. You folks don't pay me anything for all those
sermons I preach you, and so I must make my living at
something else." He still tried to be pleasant and make
"Well, if you want to begin," said John, "I'll give
you something easy." From the house he brought a
sack of potatoes, placed them on the bench by Marcus'
side and proceeded to give him a lesson on how to cut
them into proper sizes.
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 57
"But these are small enough as they are, it seems to
me," said Marcus.
"Yes; but we must make them reach as far as pos-
sible. Now, you'll have to be careful. Have no more
than two eyes to each piece, and take care not to cut an
eye so that it will be spoiled."
Just as Marcus had become thoroughly interested
in his work, Janet Harmon came around the corner of
the house. She carried something in her hands, covered
by an apron. The meeting was unexpected, it seemed, as
Janet stopped and the color came into her face. Janet
had also changed. Wind and weather had played sad
havoc with her clear, beautiful skin. The round face
was peaked and the large eyes seemed sunken. Her hair
hung in two long braids down her back.
' 'Good morning, Janet, I thought you had gone to the
"Yes; but I've come back; and I thought you went
you take a walk every morning about this time."
"Yes; but I also came back, you see." They laughed.
"Are you peeling potatoes for dinner?" she asked.
"Where do you get such luxuries?"
1 'Oh, these are not to cook, but to plant. I was just
thinking, Janet, if I had all the potato peeling that
our cook at Hungerton used to provide for her pig, what
a big field of potatoes I could plant. I wonder if peel-
ings would grow, anyway?"
Janet stepped in at the open door, placed what was
under the apron on the table, and then, as Eliza was not
in, she went back to Marcus.
"Sit down," he said, "and tell me all the news."
She handed him two letters, both from his mother,
58 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
and he read them aloud to her. They were not very
cheering letters. The mother still considered herself dis-
graced by her son's action. Still she felt sure that every-
body would forgive him even yet if he was alive and could
get back. Alice had been to see her, and had stayed with
her much of the time during the winter. Alice was a
great comfort to her. She never mentioned his name,
but still, through all the trying ordeal the girl loved her
"Poor mother, and poor Alice," and that was about
all he could say.
The potatoes were neglected for a few moments.
Then -he turned to the girl at his side and said;
"Janet, you should have seen Alice. You ought to
be acquainted with her. I know you would have liked
her; you couldn't help it, no more than I can help loving
her yet. She's the sweetest and best but there, I've
told you that so often before."
Janet rose hurriedly.
"I'm glad to see you so well, Brother King, and I
hope you'll soon recover entirely. Goodby."
In a moment she was away, and Marcus soon went to
work again. When Eliza called him to breakfast, he sat
down as usual on his own raw-hide chair, and when he
raised his head after the blessing he caught sight of the
extra bowl by the side of his plate.
"Hello, what's this?" he exclaimed, as he peered
into it. "Pudding, rice pudding! Can I believe my
"If you doubt them, try your palate," said Eliza.
"But where did you get your rice? And I verily be-
lieve there are rasins in it."
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 59
"Janet brought it," said she.
"Ah, I see. This is what she had under her apron.
Janet's a good soul, isn't she."
"I think Janet's a good girl."
"Well, I'm going to taste this," said Marcus.
"Oh, it's yours.
' 'Not all of it, I'm not quite that greedy."
u But Janet brought it for you."
"You don't know that. You were out. Here, each
must have a taste;" and amid protestations, Marcus di-
vided the tasty morsel between them.
That afternoon Marcus planted in the plowed furrow
the potatoes he had cut. He was very careful to place
them with the eye side up and exactly eighteen inches
apart. While John plowed them under, Marcus rested.
The cut potatoes brought his thoughts back to the potato
peelings, and they in a long string led him to Hungerton
and into the kitchen of the parsonage. From the cook to
his mother, and from his mother to Aline was a natural
channel of thought: but how his mind leaped from Alice
Merton to rice puddings can never be explained by any
known law of psychology. From rice puddings to Janet
Harmon was an easy stage, coming so closely on the
scenes of the morning.
Marcus sat on the upturned bucket used in carrying
potatoes, and thought about these things. He knew now
that Janet thought well of him. What was the use of
trying to hide the fact. He now remembered many little
scenes which were unmistakable, ever since he had met
her in their camp on the plains; but strange as it may
seem, the plain truth was that he had not thought of
Janet as a prospective wife. She who had all the time
60 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
held that position was back in Hungerton. She still held
it without a rival. His love for Alice was as strong as
ever, and during all his strange experiences of the recent
past, she had been the sole queen of his heart. He had
not reasoned much on the matter, or he might have seen
the utter foolishness of retaining any hope of Alice; but
once or twice that little scene in his study, that last one
with her, came to him and he heard himself say:
"You are mine, mine!"
It is a slow process to direct the channels of thought
into entirely new regions, but Marcus began to think very
kindly of his sister in the cause. Can a young man be
entirely unmoved when he finds that a good, fair, young
woman cares much for him?
"All right, Marcus, we're through," shouted John.
"Let's go to the house."
Marcus nearly fell off the bucket. While he had
been soliloquizing, John had planted and plowed until the
work was finished, and he had said never a word to the
man on the bucket.
Sometimes as early as July the Wasatch Mountains
are clothed in the Indian summer mist, thin and blue,
making an idyl-land of the deep ravines, the towering
crags, the pine-clad recesses, and the bold promontories.
Such was that afternoon when Marcus, leading little Ida
Dixon by the hand, walked up the hillside to get a better
view. From the bold, rugged outlines of the rear moun-
tains his eye followed their trend northward to where
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 61
they seemed to sink lower and lower, and the gray veiling
became thicker, until at last the blue sky and the smoke-
covered earth blended.
Little Ida ran hither and thither hunting for the few
wild flowers which sometimes were found in the shaded
protection of the sage-brush; but his eyes were on the
mountains. Never before had nature so entered his soul
or communed so plainly with him. The cabins of the set-
tlement were hidden behind a hill, so that whichever way
he looked, not a sign of human habitation or human work-
manship could be seen. He was utterly alone, save the
little child that toddled beside him. '
Marcus was now well and quite strong. His face
was no longer pale, but browned by the sharp wind and
sun. He certainly had changed much since he had left
Hungerton; and that difference was as marked as the dif-
ference between the gentle, gr^ss- covered hills of his
native state and the element- beaten mountains before
From out some lonely recess of the hills came the
mournful notes of the wild pigeon. Who, being alone in
the hills, and hearing those peculiarly penetrating
cadences echoing from some unseen source, has not sat
down on the ground, and felt as though he could stay
there forever! And if, perchance the emotions within
swelled and overflowed in tears, those tears were not
wholly of joy, neither of sorrow, but of some strange fas-
cinating emotion that stirred the soul to its depths!
Little Ida also sat on the ground, but she had no
deeper concern than to arrange her flowers. They both
sat on the hillside; the creek of cold water tumbled over
its rocky bed in the ravine below. Presently a cow came
62 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
down the path along the stream, and following it came
Janet Harmon. She carried her sunbonnet in her hand,
regardless of the hot sun. Her dress was of many- times
washed and patched calico; her shoes were ragged.
Marcus shouted to her from the hillside, and she
paused and looked up.
''Wait a moment, Janet; I want to talk to you," he
"I must take the cow home."
"You're not in a great hurry, are you?"
"No but " and the girl looked down at her shoes
and dress. Marcus saw the act.
"Then let the cow feed on that grass by the creek.
I want to talk to somebody."
"You have Ida."
"Come, here's a green bank. Ida is busy with her
flowers. Janet, don't be uneasy about how you look in
your costume. We understand each other. We under-
stand our conditions, and we know that we are the same
beings whether we are in silks or broadcloths or in rags.
What difference can a piece of cloth make in the intrinsic
value of a man or a woman ?''
"You are right," she said. "I am foolish to care
about such things, but habit and life training aie not easy
Willows lined the bank of the creek, and they sat in
their shade. Ida neglected her flowers and began weav-
ing a necklace of wiregrass. Janet threw off her sun-
bonnet, and Marcus fanned his face with his old straw
hat. The croek splashed musically by, and the cow was
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 63
"What did you want to say to me?" Janet asked
after the pause had been long enough.
"Oh, I just wanted to talk to someone. To think to
one's self doesn't give the satisfaction that talking does.
These rough mountains, the hazy air, and all this wildness
seem to affect me today. Janet, this is wonderful, isn't
"What, the scenery?"
"No; I mean our life here, or history for the past
yoar. Think of it! la college educated man, a re-
spected minister and preacher, and now here! You, whose
life seemed to be opening up so gloriously, to be sur-
rounded by wealth and culture, ease and comfort, and
now you are here also, living in a log house with a dirt
roof and a mud floor, subsisting on the scantiest and
coarsest of food, and thinking a rice pudding altogether
too precious to eat yourself."
Remember, Janet's hair was red; her cheeks were of
the same color now.
"I wonder if we have made a mistake, Janet."
She looked him in the face to see if he meant it. "I
haven't," she saicf.
"No; neither of us has. This Gospel of Christ is
worth it all. We have had many testimonies, and I can
see more clearly every day the true meaning of life.
Mormonism is in close touch with nature. We Mormons
are pretty well nature's children."
"Yes, especially until we can get s^me factories
started," said Janet, looking at a great rend in her shoe.
"I don't mean that at all," he laughed. "I mean
that there is a strikingly close relationship between Mor-
monism and the known laws of nature; and also I see now
64 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
that we as God's children must learn a great many lessons
in nature's school. In this school God is the Master.
Whatever He provides is true religion, and true religion
"I've thought of the same thing," said Janet, as she
reached up and pulled down a willow. "Who would ever
have dreamed two years ago that I should spin yarn, knit
stockings, sew carpet rags, wash, bake, (though I haven't
done much baking lately) scrub, drive cows, milk, churn,
and delight in buttermilk but now that's my life as
though I had been born and raised to it."
The cow was out of sight now and Janet arose to
look for it. Ida lay asleep on the grass. Marcus lifted
her in his arms and they went dovn the road. Soon the
settlement came into view. The sun was low in the west.
A covered wagon left a trail of dust through the street.
The voices of playing children came to them through the
still afternoon air.
"You must remember," he said, "that we are pio-
neers. Here, if any place on the globe, is the primeval
earth. We are the beginners. Everything around us is
glaringly new. We find no ancient marks of ancestry, no
shrines made sacred by centuries of human experiences.
Here are no crumbling walls overgrown with ivy;"
"Here is nothing except that which we make with our
own hands," she added.
"You put it exactly. If we want grass, we must
sow it and then water it. If we want a tree, we must
plant it. If we want a house, we must build it. But,
Janet, we are empire founders. There will be some glory
"After we are dead."
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 65
"Yes; certainly; perhaps it will be a long time after
also; but ours is a quick age and who can tell even what
one hundred years will bring!"
They turned into the street. The cow had already
found the corral.
u Do you see that pile of logs?" asked Marcus, point-
ing to the side of the road. "Well, that's my lot, and
I'm going to start on a house tomorrow."
"You have a good location," said she.
A horseman came galloping toward them. In his
hurried ride he passed them before they recognized that
it was a young man of the settlement. He reined in his
horse, rode back and said:
"Have you heard the news?"
''What news, Ted?"
"Why, about the army. The President of the United
States has send an army to Utah to straighten us out."
"Impossible it must be a mistake."
"No; the soldiers are on the road already."
"But what have we done?"
"Done? Well, ask dad. He was in Nauvoo," and
the young man put spurs to his horse and went on with
"I must hurry home to mother," said Janet nervous-
ly; and when Marcus set little Ida down in the road and
took Janet's hand to say goodnight, he looked into her
'Do not fear, Janet;" he meant to speak some rjeas-
suring word but he could find nothing better than; "I shall
come over tonight. Take care of mother."
66 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
The man whom Marcus had engaged to help him build
his house came next morning with his ax and saw.
"I did not expect you, Brother Wood, " said Marcus.
"We'll have no need for houses if an army is coming to
kill us off."
Brother Wood was a frontiersman. He had been
through most of the experiences of the Church. He had
built for himself two houses in Missouri, one in Illinois,
and a number at the temporary stopping places across the
plains; and now there were three which he had built in the
settlement. He was an expert at constructing log houses,
and he was not going to be stopped in his work because
some soldiers were reported to be on the march to Utah.
"Never you fear, Brother King," said he as he ran
his fingers through his gray beard. "I've seen lots of
soldiers before, and I don't count much on these no how.
I heard Brother Brigham say that if our enemies would
leave us alone for ten years, we'd ask no odds of 'em. It's
ten years ago since he said that. I think the Lord '11
tend to these fellers. Are ycu readj to go to work?"
"Well, yes; but you see I thought I'd wait and see
how it turned out; but if you say so, I'm with you."
So that morning Marcus King's inheritance had a be-
ginning. The stones for the corners were leveled, and
the first round of logs laid on them. It was to be a two-
roomed house, of good proportions with a "lean-to" at the
"I've been wonderin' all morning," said the master
mechanic, ' 'what you're wantin' with such a tony house
as this, but now I see. You're goin' to git married.''
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 67
"Oh no; you're mistaken, Brother Wood. I haven't
been thinking of that at all."
'That's what all young fellers say; but you can't fool
me. Janet's a mighty fine young wcman, even if she has
"But you are really mistaken about that."
"Do you mean to tell me that you're not goin' to
marry Janet Harmon?"
"I have no such intentions at present."
"Then all I can say to you is that you're actin' pretty
foolish in sparkin' the gal;'' and the speaker went on with
"Is the impression out that Janet and I are keeping
company, Brother Wood?"
"Ob, I don't know what other people think. But I've
got ears and eyes, and I can tell you, young man, that if
you don't marry Janet, there'll be a good heart broken
why don't you git married, anyway? There's no sense in
a young feller like you goin' around single, when there's
a dozen girls right here in this settlement just achin' to
Marcus laughed at that. But after all he could not
help thinking about the man's remarks about Janet. Of
course he could marry her, he liked her well enough, but
there was Alice, and his vow, or prophecy whatever he
might cdl it. It teemed to stand as a bar between him
and any other woman. If he had been unwise towards
Janet, it ought perhaps, to cease, and in the future he
would be more careful. Janet had had trouble enough
already, and so had he he could sympathize with her.
History has dealt fully with the events in Utah dur-
68 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
ing that period when the troops of the United States
marched into her peaceful settlements to put down an
imaginary revolt, and this personal narrative will not to
any extent dwell on these scenes. Some time a great
poet will find ample material for his songs in the scenes
of those days. Some day a great writer will find all he
needs in the heart histories of those trying hours.
When the people had decided to defend themselves,
there were hurried preparations in all the settlements
north and south. Old muskets, swords, and pistols were
brought out and cleaned. Those who had any knowledge
of military tactics drilled the awkward squads of farmers.
Marcus would have gone to Echo canyon, but it was
decided that John Dixon would be better able to stand
the hardships of the winter, so Marcus stayed at home.
It is well known how the troops wintered in the bleak
mountains, and that in the spring they came marching
into Salt Lake valley; how when they entered the villages
they found them deserted; and how, after quartering in
the territory for some time, they marched back again to
the more bloody fields of the South.
It was no great trial to Marcus to move south. It
was far worse for some who had large families, and who
had had only a short rest, as it were, from their wander-
ings. Janet's mother cried when she left her little cabin.
"I thought I might have laid my bones down in
peace," she sobbed.
But there was no great hardship in that excursion
south,and when they all came back again in July and began
to occupy their homes and work as usual,many looked upon
it as a little out that had done them good. With new
energy they digged and built, planted and harvested.
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 69
God smiled in favor upon them, and they prospered in the
land as never before.
The settlement where Marcus King located soon
extended its borders and received the name of Hernia.
Other streets were added to the east and to the west of
the main one; then cross streets were surveyed, cutting
the place into square blocks. New settlers kept coming
in, and more land was broken and planted. The water
ditches were enlarged and extended. Then a store was
built where general merchandise was to be had, hauled
from the Missouri River by wagons. Prices were high, it
may be believed.
The winter following the move, Marcus taught school
in Hernia. Two departments were organized. One was
a primary, over which Janet Harmon presided; the more
advanced was in charge of Marcus. Marcus invited all
who desired to attend, and many married people took advan-
tage of the opportunity to add to their limited store of book
learning. In the evening he taught an advanced class.
This work, and especially the evening classes, brought
Marcus somewhat back to his former atmosphere, with
the great difference in his favor of knowing that what he
was teaching was the truth, and having the blessed assur-
ance of a satisfied conscience, and of doing a noble work
in the community. The lack of books and the scarcity of
aids in teaching taxed the instructors to the utmost, but
when spring came, and all who could work must, all
agreed that the winter had been spent most profitably.
Janet, however, continued to meet with her flock of chil-
dren and give them a daily lesson on the blackboard in the
70 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
One Sunday morning in early May, the people of
Hernia were unusually active. President Brigham Young
and some of the leading brethren were coming to hold
meeting that day. It was a habit of the great leader to
travel from settlement to settlement among the people,
setting the Church in order, organizing quorums, layL.g
out townsites, selecting sites for tabernacles and temples,
and planning irrigation canals. His visits were always
hailed with delight, and early that morning the children
of Hernia had been to the hills to gather the few early
flowers with which to decorate themselves. The old bow-
ery from last year had been repaired the day before.
At nine o'clock the president's carriage was seen
coming down the road, and soon the children toik their
position in lines on each side of the street. As he rode
through, he smiled and bowed to them, and they waved
their flowers. The people soon began to gather under
the bowery by the side of the meeting house. The plank
benches were hard and without any backs, but many of
the older people came early to get a seat in front.
Ma v cus was only slightly acquainted with the presi-
d" nt, but as Brother Brigham walked up to the stand he
stopped and chatled with the young man for a few mom-
ents. Then they all sarg:
"0 ye mountains high,
Where the clear blue sky
Arches over the vales of the free."
The president talked to them about the recent trials
which the Church had been called to pass through; said
that it had already proved a great blessing to them; they
could now look forward to a steady growth both in tem-
poral and spiritual affairs; and gave much good advice.
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 71
Some other speakers followed and the meeting closed for
In the afternoon the president occupied nearly all the
. Marcus bad never heard such a sermon. It was not
a rhetorically or logically arranged sermon, but it thrilled
him nevertheless. He got a striking example of one who
speaks, not as the Pharisees, but as one having authority.
Towards its close the president said: "Now, my brethren
and sisters, this branch has been in a somewhat disorgan-
ized condition; and as it is, you are laboring under disad-
vantages. You are now large enough to have a full ward
organization, and we intend this afternoon to present to you
the name of a man to be your bishop. He can then
choose his counselors, and they can complete the organi-
zation. Brother Thomas has been presiding temporarilly,
and he has done his duty as far as I can find out. My
mind has been free and open to the suggestions of the
Spirit as to whom I should name as your bishop. Until I
walked up to this stand this afternoon I was in doubt, but
now I know."
At such news, the congregation naturally became
extremely attentive and expectant. Some had thought
that a bishop would be presented to the meeting, but
whom the man would be they could not tell. Half a dozen
names had been mentioned, and among them Elder
Thomas, who had presided thus far; but he was a very
"slow" man, .and it was doubtful if he would be named.
* 'Brother Marcus King," said the president," will
you please come to the stand?"
There was a murmur of voices as Marcus walked up
to the platform. Marcus hkiself had no clear idea of
what was coming.
72 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"This is the man the Spirit has told me to name as
your bishop. Brother King, tell us what you think of it;"
and the president sat down, leaving Marcus to face the
meeting. The audience became a blur to him. His head
seemed to reel for an instant. The suddenness of the sit-
uation had nearly stunned him. He stepped up to the
table and said:
"Brethren and sisters, this is as great a surprise to
me as it is to you. My own feelings cry 'no, no/ but duty
tells me I have no right to say that. I am willing to try
anything that God or His servants may call me to, with
the help of the Lord. Amen."
He sat down, and the president arose.
"All who favor Brother King as y)ur bishop and will
support him with your faith, your prayers, and your
works, make it manifest by raising the right hand."
Every hand went up.
1 'And now," continued the president, "there is an-
other thing. I understand that Brother King is not a
married man. It is hardly the proper thing for your
bishop to set you such a bad example; and Brother King,"
turning around to him, "I charge you to get a wife, or
two if you like, as soon as possible."
At the close of the meeting, as friends shook his
hand, Marcus saw Janet glide quietly past him and away
before he could reach her.
While at school Marcus remembered having read the
saying of Paul to Timothy, that "if a man desire the of-
fice of a bishop, he desireth a good work." He had asso-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 73
dated the passage with his knowledge of bishops as he
saw them in the various denominations. Then he had
agreed with Paul. His highest ambition would certainly
be reached, thought he, if he ever attained to that lofty
position. But now he was a bishop, a real bishop in the
Church of Christ. And how different it was to what his
idea had been! He was simply the ecclesiastical head of
possibly a hundred souls, poor and struggling in a new
country to make a living; and he was one of them, work-
ing daily in the fields for his own support.
Though the new bishop was young, yet he was well
liked by all. His counselors were much older than he,
and so all classes were satisfied with the arrangement.
Marcus took hold of his office with a vim, and soon had
everything in the ward in good working order. Of course
a few objected to some of his ''new-fangled ways" as they
called them, and said that he was too new from the sec-
tarian pulpit; but these grumblers were not many.
Naturally, there was much talk of what Brother Brig-
ham had said to Marcus about his getting married. Many
were the jokes at his expense, but he laughed them all away.
Of course, he meant to marry, he said, but he must be
given time to think about such a serious matter.
Though he would say it in a jocular way, he thought
about it earnestly enough; and Alice was in his mind all
the time. During the "Echo Canyon War" the mails had
been very irregular, and news from Hungerton tad been
scarce. He had written but one letter to Alice, but that
had never been answered. She might never have received
it, however, and that spring it was after he had become
bishop he had written he* again, and sent her some new
Mormon literature. In his last letter to his mother he
74 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
had asked about Alice, but he heard nothing from her
through that source, Alice having left Mrs. King some
time during the winter. .
It was middle of the summer before Marcus received
more letters from the East. One was from his mother,
but none from Alice. His mother had been very sick, was
quite weak at that writing, and she told him not to be sur-
prised if she wrote no more to him. "As regards Alice
Merton," she wrote, "since she left Hungerton I have not
heard much from her. She has lost all interest in me, I
fear. You remember I told you of her father's financial
failures, and ho\\ his business here has been closed. They
are now living on their farm some distance from town;
but, as I said, I hear scarcely anything from them. The
last time I saw Alice she was driving in that old one-
horse buggy of theirs, and there was a young fellow with
her. It is rumored that they are quite intimate. Well,
Alice is getting over her girl days, and I can not blame
her for getting married if she has a good offer; but I had
such hopes, Marcus Alice is such a good girl but there,
what's the use of my writing of such matters. You no
doubt care very little for her now, and there are plenty
of girls in your town any one of whom would gladly marry
the new bishop."
On the whole, it was a depressing letter. Marcus
worried considerably over its contents both as regards his
mother and Alice. He might have to give up Alice, after
all. At least, he could see no way by which she would
ever become his wife, unless the hand of Providence over-
ruled in a miraculous manner; but that she should be the
wife of another hurt him sadly, pnd he obtained no p?ace
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 75
of mind on that matter until he had gone to the All-wise
and All- merciful and poured out his heart to Him.
Meanwhile, Janet was in Salt Lake City. She had
gone there directly after Marcus had been made Bishop,
and had visited Hernia but a few times since. Marcus had
neglected Janet. Being so occupied with his new duties,
he had thought little about her. Now he realized that he
had been negligent, and it became all the more glaring
when considered with the fact that Janet had been so de-
voted to him. If he must settled down to a married life,
he knew of none better suited to him than Janet. He did
not try to deceive himself. He did not love Janet Har-
mon as he loved Alice Merton; but he thought a great
deal of her, that was certain.
And now rumors came to him about Janet in the city:
She ''kept company" with a man who was not doing right,
but was quarreling with the authorities of the Church .
Marcus tried to see her on a number of his trips to the
city, but he had failed. He did not place n,uch reliance in
this talk, as he knew Janet and her opinions too well to
suspect such things of her.
One evening Marcus called on Sister Harmon to in-
quire about Janet. The sister was knitting in the open
doorway, at the same time watching the light fade from
the western sky. She had aged much in the few years
she had been in the West, and lately her health was fail-
ing. It certainly seemed likely that she soon would have
her wish fulfilled as regards laying down her bones in
Marcus would not take the chair which she had vac-
ated for him, but he sat down on a bench by the wall.
The little room was one of the neatest that the Bishop
76 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
ever went into in that settlement. With the extreme scar-
city of anything that could be ustd to adorn or make
comfort, it was a wonder that such a room could be made.
Out of the commonest things Janet's skillful fingers had
made neat ornaments. The clay floor had recently been
hidden by one of sawn boards, and little strips of home-
made carpet covered the boards not made white by scrub-
bing. The cleanest and freshest white-wash covered the
walls, where were hung a few cheap prints with frames of
oak and autumn leaves. Shelves were lined with scalloped
paper. In the little window behind the tiny panes of glass
stood a row of cans filled with flowers: two or three ger-
aniums, some pinks, and a few wild flowers. Marcus went
up to them and pulled a small red blossom.
"And so Janet doesn't come home often now?" said he.
"No; she doesn't care to leave her place. And you
know, Brother King, a girl of Janet's nature likes a little
more society than there is here in Hernia."
"Yes; I suppose so; but what about that rumor? Has
she found a young man that cares for her?"
"Yes; I think she has. There's no use denying that;
at least he seems to think a great deal of her."
"And does she like him?"
"Well now, Brother King, I can't say. She's turned
so strange lately that I can't understand the girl. I be-
lieve that she thinks more of you yet than of anybody
The needles stopped their busy click, and the old
sister looked steadily at him with a smile. Marcus was
trying to fasten to his jacket the flower he had picked.
"I'm sorry, Sister Harmon that is, I suppose I
haven't treated Janet quite right."
MARCUS KING, MORMOM. 77
"No; I don't think you have."
"But you know my story, don't you? Janet does,
and I thought you would understand."
"Yes; Janet told me about your young lady that
wouldn't have you after you became a Mormon. Janet
was in the same fix but bygones are bygones with her."
Marcus knew, however, that there was a difference in
*' Where is Janet staying now? I'm going to town
tomorrow and I should like to see her?"
Sister Harmon went to the shelf and brought down a
letter from which she took a slip of paper. A photo-
graph also fell to the floor,
"Oh yes; here's his picture," she said as she handed
it to him.
The face was a dear one to Marcus King. It was his
old friend who had brought him the Gospel, Elder Robert
"Do you know him?" she asked.
''Yes; he preached the Gospel to me in Hungerton.'
"Indeed! Well, now, that's interesting; but have
you heard that he is on the back track, as they say?"
"Yes; I've heard it, but I can hardly believe it of
him. I must see him when I go to town. I haven't
heard from him for a long time, and had no idea he was
in Salt Lake."
Marcus brought away with him a package for Janet
from her mother, and a sharp pain in his heart for him-
self, ' He lost no time in getting an early start for the
city next morning.
He found Elder James at work on his farm on the
outskirts of the city, and when he took his hand and
78 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
looked into his face, Marcus found that there was some
truth in the rumor he had heard. The man spoke in a
confused way, and his actions displayed a nervousness not
natural to him. Of course he was pleased to see Marcus.
'Til unhitch and we'll go to the house. Sister Har-
mon is my housekeeper you know Janet Harmon, I be-
"We crossed the plains together, that is, part way,
and she has lived in Hernia."
"Yes; she has told me of you. You see, I lost my
wife two years ago, and I must have someone to look after
my two children. Janet does it splendidly. She's a fine
The horses were unhitched from the plow, and they
made for the stable, the two men following.
"So this is your farm?" asked Marcus. "You've got
a fine piece of land here."
"Yes; it's a pretty good farm, but I've sold it."
"Is that so?"
"Yes; I'm going East in the spring. Tve an offer
of a good position back in my native state, and I think
I'd better go. I'm not wanted here any longer."
"Why, what's the matter, Brother James?"
"I'm finding too much fault, that's all. You haven't
heard, perhaps, but the fact is that I am already as good
as an outcast here. Things are not run right to my no-
tion, and because I point it out, I am ostracized."
"But, dear brother, the Gospel is the same, isn't it?"
"Yes; I don't deny that, but Brigham is wrong."
They came to the house, where they met Janet com-
ing from the cellar with a pan of milk. At sight of Mar-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 79
cus she nearly dropped it. "Look out," he said, "If I'm
to have any of that for dinner."
She was surprised, and also a little uneasy, Marcus
thought. However, she busied herself with getting din-
ner, and finding time once in a while to ask about matters
At the table they asked and answered questions for
some time regarding their doings since they hfc parted
in Iowa City. This led on to their experiences in and
around Hungerton, and Elder James asked about many of
his friends, if Marcus had any news from them. The old-
time light came into his eyes, and the old-time interest
awakened when these missionary reminiscences were in-
dulged in; and Marcus began to doubt his first conclusion?.
"I live with John and Eliza Dixon in Hernia. They
are still true to the faith as you taught it to them,
Robert. Why don't you come out and see them?"
"Well, I have often thought I would go out and see
you all, but this trouble of mine has prevented me. I
didn't think you would care to see me."
"I will always be glad to see you, Robert. I can
never forget what I owe you. I am trying to live up to
the principles you taught me also. I know they are true
and you know it, too."
Robert's hand trembled as he pushed his hair from
his forehead, and wiped away the dampness.
"Yes," he said in a low, tremulous voice; "I know
they are true. I don't deny them, Marcus, and I hope I
never shall. The principles are all right, but " and
here he raised his voice, "the authorities are wrong."
"I shall nob try to show you the fallacy of that posi-
80 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
tion. It seems altogether too strange for me to be your
' 'Oh, chat's all right. You're a Bishop, you know,
You stand in with Brigham and are all right."
Marcus did not desire to quarrel with his old friend.
He was too much pained for that. So they parted with a
good spirit, and Marcus had him promise that he would
visit his^riends in Hernia the next Sunday.
Janet had said but little during the taik. The chil-
dren came rushing in to get their dinner, and she busied
herself with them.
"You'll come, too, Janet," said Marcus.
"I don't know I'd like to see Mother, but"
"Let there be no 'buts' Janet. You must promise
me to come. I want you to come, Janet."
* 'Then I'll be there," she said. And her eyes fol-
lowed him through the gate and up the road .
The next Saturday Bishop King was irrigating corn
when he saw a passing team stop at Harmon's, and Janet
alight. He had doubted her coming at all, but here she
was, a day ahead.
That evening Marcus called. He smiled to himself
as he brushed his coat, and put on his best tie, before
going. It had been such a long time since he had done
any ' 'dressing" to call on the ladies that the act now had
a certain charm in it.
Janet must have expected him. She was dressed
better than he had ever seen her, and she reminded him
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 81
of the first sight he had of her on the plains. Save for
a sad expression that seemed to have made itself perma-
nent in her face, she showed her peculiar beauty to advan-
tage that evening. A little pang akin to jealousy shot
through his breast.
Janet had brought a few simple luxuries from the
city, and mother and daughter were enjoying them at the
"You're just in time," exclaimed the mother.
"There's just a taste of this cake left for you."
"We're fast getting back to old conditions," said he,
"when we can have sugar in our cake. This was sweet-
ened with sugar, wasn't it, Janet?"
"Yes; and when we can dress like that," said the
mother, pointing to Janet.
"Now, Mother, you know that this is the cheapest
kind of stuff."
"It must be in the making," said Marcus, "for I as-
sure you, it looks pretty fine."
"I'm going to get some cooler milk," said the girl, as
she went to the cellar with a tin pail.
"Brother James will be here tomorrow, won't he?"
Marcus asked, when she returned.
"Yes; he and the children."
Sister Harmon, good old scheming soul, said she had
an errand at a neighbor's. Janet pleaded to go instead,
but she was ordered to stay and entertain her company.
"The Bishop is your company, mama, not mine."
The words leaped from her as though she could not con-
trol them. Then she straightway apologized.
82 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"All right, mother, go on. I'll do my best. You'll
forgive me, won't you, Brother King?"
"I forgive all men likewise all women," he
answered, "in hopes that I also shall be forgiven of them."
The door was open, and the moon shone in on the
floor. A cool breeze came from the mountains, and blew
out like a sail the little white curtain at the window. Mar-
cus drew his chair into the draught. Janet cleared the
"How long have you iived with Brother James?" he
"Just this summer."
"And how long has he been feeling as he does?"
"I don't know. He says very little to me about
such things. I was somewhat surprised myself at what
he said to you the other day."
"You don't know how sorry I am when I see a man
like Brother James fall into the dark. Why, he has bee n
on a mission, preached the Gospel to hundreds, and done
a vast amount of good; and after it all to apostatize! I
don't understand it. Now, if it had been you or me,
Janet, who haven't done much for the Church, and who
are quite new, it wouldn't have been so surprising; but
Brother James well, its awful."
"I did not think it was that bad. He's been very
kind to me."
"Janet, do you know what rumor has it about you?''
"No; what rumor?" She stood leaning against the
open door. The moonlight streamed through her hair,
making a peculiarly beautiful effect.
"Why, that you and Brother James are keeping com-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 83
'And what if we are? Whose business is it? She
stood up erect against the door. Marcus leaned across
the cleared table and looked at her. He had never seen
her so charming.
1 'Janet, I did not mean to offend you by repeating
gossip," he said quietly. "For my own knowledge I
wanted to know."
She stood as if rigid. Marcus could hear that she
breathed hard, but she said nothing.
"I wanted the information, Janet, so that I would
know how to act. 1 do not wish to be unfair or unmanly.
If you have promised to marry Brother James, then I'll
say no more."
It was a bold move he made, but he might as well
out with it.
"I've not promised to marry Brother James."
"Thank you for telling me. Won't you sit down
here, Janet, while I talk to you."
She answered not, she did not move. So Marcus
arose and stood on the other side of the open door, quite
close to her. A field of ripening wheat was just outside,
but its countless ears would never hear. However, they
nodded back and forth towards each other in the moon-
light as if they were whispering a secret tale of. love.
"Janet, you can't imagine the responsibility there is
in being Bishop even in such a small place as this. I've
been alone in the work long enough, and if I can get some
one to help me, it will be better."
"You can get ten girls to marry you, if that is what
you mean, " she said with an effort.
"But I don't want ten, I want but one "
84 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"And she is in Hungerton. You are in a fix, Bishop/'
There was a sneer in her tone this time.
Marcus walked back to the chair. He was silenced.
She had turned on him, she was playing with him, and he
kne# now that he loved her. He could not say anything
to her, and she stood there looking staring out into the
''Well, Janet," he said at last, "I see that it is useless
to say anything further to you tonight." He pushed the
chair away and reached for his hat. "Perhaps, tomorrow
but Brother James will be here then and there is no
telling oh Janet, why do you despise me? what have I
done that you should hate me? 1 '
The girl walked waveringly to the chair, leaned her
head on the table, and burst into loud sobs. Marcus stood
hat in hand as if helpless. Then he went to her, and as
a father would place his hand on the head of a child, he
placed his on the bowed head. He drew another chair up
to her, and sat there until her sobs grew less violent.
Then he gently took her hand, and lifted her head from
the table. . All her passion had vanished, and she yielded
to each pressure of his hand.
"I did not mean to be hard, " she said at last, "but
I thought you never have cared for me, and now your talk
puts the devil into my heart. Forgive me, Marcus."
"I have nothing to forgive, but you have much. I
have ill-treated you. I have" neglected you, but it shall
be so no longer. Do you think you can forgive me, and
learn to love me?"
"I love you now, Marcus." She .only whispered it,
but he heard it plainly, and he pressed her head onto his
shoulder, while her soft, warm hand clasped his in a firm
MARCUS KING,IMORMON. 85
grasp. The breeze sank to a zephyr. The moon sailed
behind a cloud. Then he kissed her, and what were words
''Marcus," she said, "now I must talk. Mother will
be here presently, and I don't care for her to see my
swollen eyes. Let us walk up and down outside!"
So Marcus slipped her arm into his and they walked
down the road bordering the wheat field and the hay
"Marcus, you haven't said that you love me."
"Then I will say it now."
"Hush! but we may take it for granted that you care
a little for me. Still now don't deny it, Marcus you
think more of Alice Merton.''
"But that is in the past. It is useless to talk about
"Perhaps, and perhaps not. However, let us under-
stand each other, let us have no secrets between us. I
have told you mine."
"And you don't care for Robert James?"
"Not a bit. I never did, I cared for you only, and
I shall thank God that tonight He has answered my pray-
How could Marcus have been so blind to such a sub-
"Now listen to me, "and she pinched his arm. "I'm
not going to marry you just yet."
"Well, why not? Hasn't my house stood vacant long
"I'm going to give you a chance to marry Alice
"But my dear Janet, you can't give me that chance."
86 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"Hush, let me tell you. We can wait and see. We
know not what time will bring. We must give Alice a
chance. She loves you, and you love her you love her
more than you love me. I'm used to that thought now,
so it doesn't hurt me. You can marry Alice first, I'm wil-
ling. It is her right. I will come in afterwards and be
a help to you both.''
4 'My dear girl, I bless you for your words. I had not
thought it possible for a woman to say them as you have.
I do love Alice, and I think I always shall; but remember,
that does not hinder me from loving you, yea, now a hun-
died fold more than ever."
"I know it, Marcus, I know it; you love me of course,
but nut as you love Alice; and it's all right. It's not to
be expected otherwise. We must give Alice another
chance. If you marry me first, it would break Alice's
heart. I can come in second, you know. That wil! be
easier for her, when she understands it."
"Yes; but she never will understand, I fear."
"She may, Marcus. That's in God's hands. We must
give her another chance anyway. Marcus, I had a letter
from her last winter. 2 '
"Yes; I've never told you before because I was jeal-
ous. She asked about you. Oh, it was such a beautiful
letter, and full of love for you. I believe she is a good
girl, and I have not treated her right because I have not
answered it yet."
"You surprise me. How could she have gotten your
address? She has never answered any of my letters."
"I suppose she got it through Brother Dixon, or
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 87
perhaps through Robert James. He has written back, I
It was getting late. The mother was looking out of
the door for them, and they walked up to her arm in
"It's all right, mother," said Marcus, "Janet and I
have come to an understanding at last, and we want your
sanction and blessing."
"And you may have both," she said, and continued
about now being able to lay down her bones in peace,
which remark Marcus just made out as he leaped over the
fence on a short cut home.
It was a pleasant party that assembled at John Dix-
on's the next day. There were John and his wife, Sister
Harmon and Janet, Robert James and the two children,
and the Bishop of Hernia, with little Ida alternately on
his arm and knee.
There are no more pleasing associations than those
formed in the mission field. Somehow that "first love"
for the Gospel is awakened and renewed by meeting
friends whom one has learned to know and love while
preaching the Gospel. What good times to be recalled!
What outpourings of the Spirit to be remembered! What
experiences with opposing forces to be narrated again!
And so that little party at Dixon's were all day, between
88 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
meetings, talking of old times, and rejoicing in each
It was not until towards evening that Robert James
showed his disposition to find fault, and them he began
in a manner that jarred on the Bishop's feelings. Marcus
dH not care to bring on any discus- sion and so mar the
good spirit of the company; but he could not quietly hear
slandered those whom he considered apostles and proph-
ets, and although not without their faults, still $>ood men.
So he said to his friend Robert in the hearing of al!:
"Brother James, I'm surprised at you I'm surprised
that you should say such things. You are a reasonable
man, and understand the philosophy of the Gospel. Tell
me how it is that the leaders, the heads of the true
Church, can be in the wrong, and still that Church grow
and prosper, and be in the right? Can the head be sick
without the body knowing it?"
"The body does know it."
"An individual now and then thinks so; not the
Church as a whole."
"Well, I think I know what I'm talking about. I
know more about Brigham Young than you do. "
"You may do that. When I know that he stands at
the head of the Church of Christ on the earth, I do not
care to know all his faults and misdoings, for of course
he is not perfect, being a mortal like the rest of us.
Knowing the Gospel to be true, I can be satisfied with whom-
soever God pleases to put at the head. I can reason no
other way. I can not believe that an impure fountain can
bring forth pure waters."
"I'm not going to argue with you, Marcus, on that
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 89
"I didn't say that to you, when you came to Hunger-
ton. I reasoned with you, and tried to hold my point,
too; but when I saw that I was beaten, I gave in,
"Yes; but really I see no use in talking about it.
What's done can't be undone. I've sold my place and am
going East. Perhaps they will cut me off the Church
before I go. Then I'll be out of it, and will get away
from Mormonism for a while. Come, children, let's be
going. I'm sorry that I should disappoint you so, Marcus,
but I can't help it. You keep on, and you'll be all
He tried to laugh, a forced, sickly laugh, as he pre-
pared to go. The others looked on in silence. Marcus
arose and stood by the table, his eyes blazing.
"Robert, wait a moment. Once you taught me the
eternal truth, and now I am going to tell it to you. I
want you to remember that I have borne my testimony to
you. You said you would get away from Mormcnism.
Robert James, I tell you solemnly you can not get away
from Mormonism, you can not get outside of it. Do what
you will, go where you may, eternal truth will be there and
that is Mormonism. Take the wings of the morning and
fly to the uttermost parts of the universe, and there is
God and His children that is Mormonism. In life or in
death Mormonism will meet you and remind you of its
truth. You might as well try to run away from your in-
nermost soul as to escape from Mormonism. You might
as well try to get outside of time and space as to get out-
side of Mormonism. You can't do it, Brother James, you
can't do it."
90 MARCUS KISG, MORMON.
' Tis the last and the first,
For the limits of time it steps o'er;
Though the heavens depart, and the earth's fountains burst/
Truth, the sum of existence, will weather the worst,
Eternal, unchanged, evermore'
and that is Mormonism!"
They had all arisen. No one spoke, but Robert James
put on his hat, took a child by each hand, and walked
away. He went straight to where his horses were feed-
ing by his wagon, and taking no heed of the pleadings to
remain, he hitchejl up and drove off to town. The last
that was heard of them in the dark was the children's
Janet went to the city, had a talk with Robert James,
and then came back to Hernia. She and Marcus were
much together, and now it was generally conceded that
the Bishop would get a wife. However, weeks went by
and the golden autumn came, and still there was no
' 'You are not to be in a hurry, Marcus, about my
setting the date," said she; "ycu'U grant me that."
"Take your own time, my dear; but our good people,
the neighbors, are getting impatient," he answered.
Meanwhile, Janet had answered Alice's letter, and in
due time of the stage coach she received an answer. It
was a strange letter.
Expressing, as the writer did, strong condemnation,
she, at the same time, could not hide her love for Marcus.
Janet could read that plainly between the lines. Janet an-
swered it at once, and in her letter she told Alice the facts
as regarding Marcus and as regards herself. She was
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 91
open with her, laying bare her soul to the unknown girl.
Janet thought it was her duty to do so. She meant to do
what was right by Alice Merton, and give her the one
chance more. She had studied it all out during her long
absence from Hernia, when she had been greatly in doubt
whether Marcus had any love for her. She had thought
of that first love of hers, which had been so easily changed.
As she looked back upon it, she thanked God that it had
gone no further than it had. When she thought of Mar-
cus, with his high ideals, his nobility of character, and bis
manhood, how low in the scale that other man sank! But
but she was not sure of Marcus; far from it. Looking
back on their acquaintance, she could find nothing in him
that would indicate more than a deep respect for her.
His mind had been so filled with Alice that there had been
no room for her. At first she resented it, and vowed that
she would never again show her heart to Marcus, as she
had done on some occasions. But the more she thought
and prayed about it, the clearer became her right position
toward herself and them. Envy left her, resentment
found no place within her heart. It was all shown to her
so clearly. Her duty was plain. There was sacrifice in
it, but beyond it all there was peace and joy, and a glory
which God gave her a glimpse of. With all this in her
soul she had penned that last letter to Alice, and now she
would wait for an answer. It would take weeks, perhaps
months, but wait she would before she would give her
hand to Marcus King. And Marcus also waited patiently.
In those early days, the one house, sometimes rude,
answered for meetinghouse, schoolhouse, amusement hall
a place for all kinds of public gatherings. Marcus had
his ideals even in these wild surroundings, and he did not
92 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
lose sight of them. That fall, when the harvesting was
over, he began the movement to build that new meeting-
house. That meetinghouse? Yes, it was the only one of
its kind in the valley for a long time, and many of the old
settles can yet tell of that wonderful structure.
Marcus talked the project up well before beginning,
and the majority of the people were heartily in favor of
his plans. A few thought the schoolhouse good enough,
and said the Bishop was going back to his old sectarian
notions of fine churches. A building committee was ap-
pointed, of which Marcus was chairman. He was also the
architect of the new house, while Brother Wood was the
foreman of the work.
"We fix up the best we know now, " Marcus preached,
"when we invite our friends to see us. Let us not dis-
criminate against the Lord. Every Sabbath at least we
invite the Lord to meet with us, and what kind of a re-
ception room do we provide for Him? Well, you all know
what rendition our room is often in on a Sunday after a
dance. There can be nothing too good for the Lord or
His Spirit. We try to make our temples the most beauti-
ful buildings that the human hand can construct, in proof
of this. I have heard some complaints about this matter.
One brother said that it was sectarian, and smattered of
the pride of the world. I don't think so. The children
of this world are often wiser than the children of light.
They make their places of worship beautiful and attrac-
tive, that people may be drawn to them and take a delight
in coming. Why shouldn't we do the same? We, out
here in the West, must 'rough it' all the week. We come
in close contact with mother earth, and her stains are
upon us. We learn to live with the soil and forget to
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 98
look up to the beautiful blue sky. Now, I think that once
in a while we should get away from our life of drudgery,
and soar, as it were, in the beauties of heaven. I think
we should have a place into which we might enter, and
its very atmosphere draw our minds to God."
So the work was begun. The logs came from the
canyon, and the hewers cut them smooth on both sides
A site was selected which could be irrigated, and a foun-
dation was laid. Marcus had plenty of skilled laborers
who were glad to thus renew their acquaintance with
their old trades. Each took a pride in doing his best.
There was a scarcity of material, but it was a wonder to
see the ingenuity that was exhibited to overcome diffi-
The sisters were not idle. With Janet at their head,
they gathered a great many rags, which they sewed and
weaved into beautiful strips of carpet. These were for
the stand and aisles, and perhaps the whole floor if they
could get enough. Then there were some coverings for the
windows, something in the nature of curtains or blinds to
keep out the hot summer sun. There was much planning
before anything satisfactory was devised. Then Janet
said there must be some decorations for the walls, and
old trunks were ransacked for suitable pictures. These
were put into all sorts of crude but artistic frames.
The whole of Hernia was aroused. Every man, woman,
and child had or wanted something to do with the build-
ing of the new meetinghouse. This was true even of the
grumblers. As the ^ alls slowly arose, the plasterer was
scheming and experimenting to get the best plaster out
of the material he could procure. The painters and dec-
94 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
orators, and there was an artist among them, also were
hard at work mjxing unheard of pigments and experiment-
ing with their own rooms with effects of ttimes the most
As heads of the two divisions, Marcus and Janet met
and schemed. Marcus had drawn quite elaborate plans
which he explained to Janet one afternoon.
"In the spring we shall try to get some shrubbery/'
said he. "I have already sent after some grass seed which
I intend to plant this fall. Then here we shall have a row
of trees of poplars, box elders, locusts, and others that
we can get. Then Pm going to write back to Hungerton
to the old janitor there and ask him to send me some roots
of that ivy which nearly buries the church. That I will
plant here on each side of the vestibule, and make some
trellis work for it to climb upon/'
They leaned over the table and examined the draw-
ings, their heads being close together.
"Where are your flower beds? 1 ' she asked.
"Wt- 11, I hardly dared go that far."
"Why not? Flowers are as easy to raise as trees or
grass. I want some flowers. A big boquet must be on
the stand every Sunday morning."
"I'm no florist, but you are, so here goes." Where-
upon some circles and diamonds were drawn upon the
"And if any teams are hitched close by to injure all
this, there'll be a row!"
"That's all provid d for," laughed Marcus. "See
here across the street we are to plant a double row of
trees for the trains."
"I like this," said Janet. "You know this is doing
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 9^
something. We're shaping the future, we're creating,
'I've told you that before, haven't I?"
They were in reality two happy people.
Then Janet reminded Marcus of the wildness of life
among the young people, and their lack of gentle manners.
Marcus was aware of it well enough, but was at a loss to
know how to check it. So, together they talked it over
and decided that they would take a more active part in
the amusements of the young people, in fact, be the lead-
ers, and show them by example rather than by precept
how to act.
They went about their task quietly, but soon there
was a marked change. In the dance Marcus and Janet
were the first and leading couple. They made themselves
as prominent as they could, and all had to look at the
graceful couple and unconsciously follow them.
In all this Marcus and Janet put their whole soul. It
was a labor worthy of any talent.
Then came October, and the conference. A jolly
party drove in to the city to attend. The splendid meet-
ings were greatly enjoyed. On the afternoon of the last
day the list of missionaries called to the world was read.
Among those called to preach the Gospel to the United
States was the name of Marcus King.
Marcus immediately an&weied the call. He had very
little preparation to make. He called together his coun-
selors and some of the leading brethren and laid before
them his plans for finishing the new meetinghouse, and
they said that his ideas should be carried out as far as
possible. John Dixon would look after his personal affairs.
96 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
He asked Janet if she had fixed the date for their marriage
yet, and she said she had not.
"I know people will talk/' she explained, " and wonder
why we do not get married before you leave, but we will
have to stand that. Now, more than ever, that date must
be uncertain. You will visit Hungerton, and see Alice;
meanwhile I will wait and see how things turn out."
' 'Janet," said he, * 1 appreciate your motives. I had
not thought it possible for woman to sacrifice herself for
woman as you are doing."
"In the end there will be a greater blessing," said
she, "so there really is no sacrifice."
"Yes; with the light you have on the subject of God's
eternal providences, it may be possible. To the women in
the world it would not be. Janet, you are dearer than
ever to me for what you say, because it is true that I love
Alice, and because I do want to see her again. Now that's
a paradox. You ought to be angry at that, to spurn me,
or go away with a broken heart; but you do neither. You
understand that it is possible for me to love you both."
But her heart was full, and she did not answer. A
tear slowly trickled down her cheek, which Marcus kissed
In a few days Marcus was ready. The missionary
company went with some travelers going East. The
weather continued to be fair, and good time was made.
As he traversed nearly the same ground over which he
had traveled with his hand-cart, Marcus could not help
MARCUS KING, MORMON 97
but think of that terrible trial, and then of the experience
which had been crowded into the past three years of his
life. And here he was again, a preacher of the Gospel,
not with a salary, but traveling without purse and scrip
as the apostles of old.
Winter had set in before they reached the railroad,
but there was no suffering; then, drawn by the iron steed,
they soon reached their destination.
Marcus labored for some time in and around the city
of St. Louis. Here he found a number of old-time friends,
some of whom received him kindly and others did not.
Marcus entered into his work with keen interest. That
he represented an unpopular people, and preached an un-
popular doctrine which brought upon him much opposi-
tion, only spurred him on and gave life and zeal to his
One day he found a college chum, one who had also
entered the ministry and was now the popular pastor of a
large church in the city. His friend was surprised to see
him, and doubly astonished when he learned some of his
history. He invited Marcus to call on him the next even-
ing, which invitation was promptly accepted.
Marcus had walked all day and was tired and hungry
when he made his way to his friend's house. At his knock
a servant girl showed him in and took his hat and over-
coat. He had no rubbers, so he wiped his feet well on
the rug before entering. The parlor was warm and well-
lighted, and Marcus sank into the cushions of an arm-chair
with an old-time abandon to ease and comfort.
That must have been a dream, that trip out in the
wilds of the Rocky Mountains among the Mormons! Was
he not sitting in his own cozy parlor at Hun^erton? His
98 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
mother would soon call him to dinner. He could hear the
clatter of dishes, and the delicious odor of cooking viands
came through the opening and closing doors. Yes, it
must have been all a dream: the hard, long travel across
the plains; the sleeping and eating on the ground; the liv-
ing in log houses; the poor, coarse food; the wild, dry,
desert West, pregnant with the smell of alkali and sage-
brush; the hot sun; the cloudless sky; the Mormons and
all his supposed friends; there was Janet busy with the
worked co/ering which she said was to be for the pulpit;
she leaned over her work, the long braids of dark red hair
hanging over her shoulders; her mother moved quietly
about in that little white-washed room; the plowing and
the planting; the irrigating and the harvesting; the hay-
ing; the digging of potatoes that made the hands rough
and sore; the long, hard day's work in the hot sun yes;
what a wonderful dream it had all been!
"Good evening, Marcus," said his friend, stepping in,
"I see you've come."
Marcus crossed his knees again; he imagined for an
instant that his warm slipper was dangling on the end of
his foot, but in reality he saw nothing but a wet, much-
"You'll excuse me for keeping you waiting so long,"
said the parson.
"Oh," I am quite at ease, you see. You have it quite
"Well, not as I wish. The salary doesn't allow much
yet; but I am hoping to get a raise soon, and then I ex-
pect to fix up as I should like. If it's a fair question,
how much do you get? I understand you are travelirg
in the interest of the Mormon Church?"
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 99
"Well, now," said Marcus, smiling, "I don't know
yet, as the account is kept by the recording angel; but I
hope I shall have my share when I get to heaven . We
get no salary here."
Marcus saw that the pastor doubted his word, so he
said no more on that subject but the talk soon led on to
old times, and what Marcus had seen in the West. Then
dinner was announced, of which the hungry missionary
was heartily glad. His friend introduced him to his wife,
and the three sat down to a dinner which again reminded
Marcus of bygone days.
His friends could not understand Marcus. That he
could forsake his all and c-ast his lot with the Mormons
was beyond belief. They did not say as much in words,
but Marcus understood it from their manner. In their
talk that evening, Marcus did not desire to press his doc-
trines on them, but when the pastor began to use sarcasm
tn regard to some of the teachings of the Mormons, he
put himself on the defense. Especially was the word
"Saint" obnoxious to the reverend divine.
"My friend," asked Marcus, "what is a Saint?"
"A holy person; not sinful mortals as we."
"You have not read your Bible for that .answer. In
olden times every person who became a member of the
Church of Christ was called a Saint. They were not all
perfect men and womer, but mortals like us."
They sat around the table cracking nuts, after the
dinner. The parson's wife looked strangely at Marcus as
"We call ourselves Saints and the world calls it sac-
rilege. That is because they have changed the meaning
of the word. In our pictures of Saints, we see some old-
100 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
monk or nun, with eyes turned up to heaven, and a long-
drawn, unnatural expression on the face, and we are led
to believe that a living flesh and blood mortal cannot be
a Saint. I claim to be a better Saint now than a few years
ago when I had somewhat of a ministerial look on my face. "
Marcus laughed, but neither the parson nor his wife
joined in his merriment.
"We are the children of God, and we are here for a
purpose," continued Marcus. "The flesh is not an evil
tenement to be despised, for by so doing we despise the
noblest works of God. The highest type of personal
holiness is not obtained in the cloister, but out in the
thick of the world's temptations, battling with sin and
error, gaining experience by what we suffer, overcoming,
conquering. There is opportunity enough for self-denial
and self-renunciation in our daily lives. A man can be a
man and a Saint at the same time. Manhood, woman-
hood and sainthood are synonymous. Don't you think so?"
"You haven't forgotten how to preach yet, " said his
"Why, no; I'm a preacher, you know/'
Out again in the wild night, Marcus realized that he
was not dreaming, but that life was real enough. The
snow came in thick gusts and he wrapped his coat closely
around him as he went to his lodgings. His friend had
not even asked him to stay over night, neither to call
again and see them. Well, it was all right.
One morning Marcus received a number of letters
from the West. One was from Janet, one from John,
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 101
and some from his friends. One had come from Hunger-
ton, and had traveled the long journey back again. The
handwriting was not his mother's, and when he opened it,
he knew the cause: his mother was dead now nearly two
It was sad news to Marcus, he had hoped to see her
yet once more; but now she had gone to his father. She
had borne the news of his son to him. Did they under-
stand the truth there and rejoice that they had a son
on earth who was an honor and not a disgrace to them
now? Marcus believed they did.
Shortly after New Years Marcus set out on a long
journey. He meant to reach Hungerton early in the
spring, and even if he could do nothing in the way of
preaching there, he wanted to see his mother's grave.
Besides, there was a little property which he would have to
Marcus walked from village to village and from
farm to farm, preaching the Gospel, meeting with the
usual ups and downs incident to missionary life. People
had very little use for religion. The great question be-
fore the country was politics. Tha .nation was in a tur-
moil. Congress was vainly trying to adjust the rights of
"slave states" and "free states." Kansas was the scene
of civil war. John Brown had made his raid on Harper's
Ferry, had been captured and hanged. Forebodings of
the coming conflict filled the air, and Marcus remembered
the utterances of the Prophet Joseph on the subject.
As he neared Hungerton it seemed to Marcus that
people became more indifferent to his religious teachings.
Some threatened him with mob violence if he did r ot leave
102 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
the country; but as he did not stop long in cne locality,
they did not disturb him.
One day, when warm spring winds had begun to
thaw the snow, Marcus trudged along the country road.
It was extremely hard walking because where the snow
was not one soft slush he sank over his shoe tops in mud.
He had walked all forenoon and had failed thus far to get
anything to eat. He had no money, so all the afternoon
he called from house to .house in hopes of getting Gospel
talks and something to eat; but each succeeding house
seemed more hostile than the one before. In the after-
noon a storm came up and the rain fell in torrents.
Marcus' clothes were wet through, but on he
trudged. Between the farmhouses the forest began to be
dense, and when evening came on he found it difficult to
keep the road.
Up to ten o'clock that night Marcus had asked at
twenty one places for lodging and each time had been
refused. Now he resolved to ask no more, but walk on
in the storm all night and get to Hungerton the next day.
He would get something to eat and a place to rest there.
He walked slowly on. The mud and water ran in
and out of his shoes. He took off his overcoat, as it was
filled with water and was heavy. The trees overhead
obscured the little light in the sky. The wind howled
dismally. Such an utter loneliness Marcus had never
felt. In other privations he had had human company,
but here he was alone, and not a soul had kindness
enough in his heart to take in from the storm a despised
Mormon Elder. He was not far from his f crmer home.
No doubt many along the road would have known him had
he given his name. Three years ago he could have driven
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 103
along the same road as the Reverend Marcus King, and
would have been royally entertained at any of the homes;
but now well, such is the way of the world. He did not
expect any better treatment; but, ugh, how the streams
of water ran down his back!
He walked on, and the rain still fell. He passed
one or two farm houses, but they were dark and forebod-
ing. He would travel on. Though he was faint and
weak, he would be refused no more that night. The
mud clung to his feet like great balls. The trees brushed
him with their great wet arms.
He was following along a pole fence when he came
to a clearing. A small house stood close to the road, and
from a window a shaft of light shot out into the darkness.
As he came opposite the' door he heard voices. He
would ask for a drink of water. As he knocked on the
door, the talking within ceased, and a man opened it.
Marcus did not go in, dripping wet as he was.
"Will you kindly give me a drink of water?" he said.
"Come in, come in, sir; come in out of the storm,"
said the man.
"I am dripping wet."
"That's nothing; you can't spoil our carpet." The
floor was of cleanly scrubbed pine boards.
Marcus stepped in, and a young girl gave him a glass
of water. A large open fireplace was nearly filled with a
burning log. The room was so cozy, but Marcus turned
to go again.
"Its rather bad weather for traveling," said the
man, "and you're out late tonight. Walking too?"
"Yes," said Marcus.
The wife now arose, and looked at her husband. She
104 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
had been looking intently at Marcus all the time. The
' 'Are you in a hurry?" he asked .
"No; but I have no place to stop for the night, so I
must be on the move."
"Who are you?"
"I am a Mormon Elder, preaching the Gospel with-
out purse or scrip. I have asked for shelter and food
twenty-one times during the day, and have been refused
each time. I shall ask no more/' and he moved towards
"But, great God, man, if you want to stay here,
you're welcome. I don't care what you are. Yau're cold
and wet and hungry, and that's enough. Come up to the
fire. Wife, get him something to eat."
The wife did not obey instantly, but she came up to
Marcus to take his dripping hat and coat. She peered
into his face and said:
"Are you Marcus King?"
"lam. That is my name."
"Why, Henry!" she exclaimed, "this is Marcus King,
your old pastor at Hungerton."
The man came up also and took Marcus' hand. He
looked closely into the bearded face.
"Are you the preacher from Hungerton?"
"No, Henry," interposed the woman, "you know he
left Hungerton, left the pulpit and the church, and joined
Henry Sanford raised one hand to his eyes as if he
would clear them of some mist. Then he knew him, and
Marcus too recognized his friend whom he had last seen
in Hungerton jail, a religious madman.
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 105
"I am pleased to meet you, friend Sanford, " said
Maicus. "I am glad that you are looking so well, you
and your family."
"Yes; I am well now, and am rid of mind-destroying
religion, which nearly sent me to the asylum. Religion is
the greatest curse on earth. Perhaps I should not say
that, as you are a preacher. But I can prove it. The
twenty- one people who refused you shelter and food are
all long- faced Christians. I i am an unbeliever, an infidel
mother, what are we doing? Can't you see he is nearly
starved. I'll get some dry clothes for you, sir; and you'll
stay over night with us. This weather is not fit for a
dog to travel in."
In a very few minutes Marcus had on dry clothing,
and was sitting by the fire eating supper. The children
stood around in silence. The father began to talk about
the coming presidential election, while the mother urged
him to eat; but the hour was late, and soon all retired for
Marcus stayed with them all the next day. Mrs.
Sanford told him their story, how that Henry had gradu-
ally regained his mind, and how that he had turned rank infi-
del. But it was a thousand times better than the way he was
before, she said. He was kind to her and the children, and
they all lived happily on the farm far away from churches
or preachers. Then she told him what news she knew
about Hungerton. He also had long talks with Henry,
handling him wisely. He was deeply interested in politics,
and from that subject Marcus led to science and at last
to religion. Henry listened attentively.
"Is that Mormonism?'' he asked.
106 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"Well, there's some sense to that. Why didn't you
preach like that when you were in Hungerton?"
"I could not give what I did not have. Now I have,
and am sent to give."
"You hold meetings?"
"Whenever I get a chance."
''Will you preach in our schoolhouse tomorrow?"
4 'All right, I'll see to it."
And he did. The next day the news was spread?
and early in the afternoon Henry Sanford drove with his
whole family to the schoolhouse. Some said that he had
"got religious" again, and that the neighbors had better
look out for one of his crazy spells; but Henry was all
right, and knew what he was doing.
The "religion'' which Henry Sanford "got" at the
meeting in the schoolhouse did not in any way disturb his
mental equilibrium. Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, re-
pentance from sin, baptism for the remission of sin, the
gift of the Holy Ghost these were plain, simple truths
substantiated by holy writ. The room was fairly well
filled with people from the neighboring farms, and Marcus
spoke with power to them. A few had known him when
he was a preacher in Hungerton, and wondered at his
joining the Mormons. "Such a young man!" said one.
"Such a fine looking man!" said another. "Such a good
talker !"aid a third.
Marcus was not disturbed until towards the close of
the meeting. Then a man in a farther corner began
asking questions. Marcus answered them, but the man
was not satisfied. Marcus asked his hearers to let him
finish his talk, and then he would answer any question;
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 107
but it was evident that the plan was to break up the meet-
ing. The questioner would not sit down. Others began
to talk out loud, and it seemed as though the meeting
would end in an uproar.
Just then Henry Sanford arose. He was sitting near
the front, and he faced the crowd.
"Ladies and gentlemen," said he in ringing words, "I
hope we are p aceable citizens and will give this gentle-
man a respectful hearing. He will answer your questions
after he gets through. Can there be any thing fairer than
"His doctrines are deceitful," shouted someone.
'"You will have a chance to prove that after awhile,
Mr. Simpson," replied Henry. "I don't make many pre-
tensions myself, but I believe in the golden rule the
the rule, Mr. Simpson, that I have heard you expound more
than once. Now you have a chance to practice what you
preach. Sit down, Mr. Simpson, and don't disturb the
As Henry was the justice of the peace, he spoke with
authority. The noise subsided, and the meeting went on.
At its close no questions were asked, but Mr. Simpson and
his followers got away as quickly as possible.
Marcus weit back with his friends, and spent the
night. During the evening some neighbors called in and
they had a pleasant time. Next morning Marcus went on
his journey. Henry would have taken him to Hungerton
in his wagon, but Marcus said he preferred to walk. The
distance was short, and there were many places on the
way where he desired to call.
The rain had ceased. The 'few remaining clouds were
dissolving in the western sky, and the sun shone bright
108 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
and warm. The roads were quite firm under foot. The
trees were dry. The air was clear and cool, and full of
the coming spring.
All forenoon Marcus walked along the road, callirg
at the few farmhouses. As he neared Hungerton the
country became familiar to bin. At noon he ate his
lunch on the bank of a creek, which had been a favorite
playground when a boy. Here he had often fished, and in
the woods surrounding he had laid snares for the squirrels.
The creek was now swollen with the rain and rushed down
its bed in a brown torrent. Every hill and dale and stream
now recalled memories of the past. Marcus lived again
as a boy as he sauntered leisurely past the dear familiar
scenes of bygone years.
In the afternoon he reached the "top," so called be-
cause from its summit the whole valley wherein Hunger-
ton lay could be seen. The road skirted this knoll, and
often had Marcus climbed the few rods up to its bare
rounded surface, even as he now did. Here he got the
first view of the broad, still-flowing river, within whose
bended arm the town of Hungerton snugly rested. The
same rude seat which had been erected on the "top" was
there yet; and as Marcus rested on its weather beaten
boards, he discerned the initials which he and his boy
companions had carved on the back. It seemed so long
ago, at the same time but yesterday. Where now were
the boys? What had been their lot? Where had they
roamed, and where settled? How many of those yet in
the town before him would recognize the browned,
bearded man as their former playmate? What schemes
they all had planned ! Yes, seated on that same hill top,
with the same beautiful panorama before them, they had
MARCUS KING, MORMOM. 109
mapped out their lives, as seemed grandest and be^t to
their boyish imaginations. There was Joe, big, strong
Joe. He was to be a merchant and marry sunny-haired
Josie; but Joe turned student and became a college pro-
fessor, and didn't marry" Josie Then Jim, the fastest
runner in the crowd, whose whole aim in life was to learn
to pitch a curved ball he went to school with Marcus, and
became a preacher too. Then there was Tom, tow-headed,
freckled-faced Tom, who took all the bantering the boys
and girls gave him in such a quiet, good-humored way.
The last heard of him was that he was on his way to the
gold fields of California. Then Fred, who crushed his leg
in the woods and ever after walked with a crutch. He,
instead of Joe, became the merchant and married sunny-
haired Josie. There was little Sammy, who couldn't
climb the hill without geti ing out of breath. He alone
had not wandered, as the little white cross in the grave-
yard showed. Then there was Marcus, whose father was
the minister, who was supposed to set the other boys a
good example. What had become of him? Ah; he had
become the black sheep of the lot, he had disgraced the
community, had < v eserted his church and his charge, and,
wo^st of all, had become a Mormon.
Marcus sat until the sun sank low in the west. The
river burned with burnished gold. The breeze tossed the
swelled buds of the trees back and forth, as if rocking to
sleep the impatient, waking children of the forest. Then
the sun went down, and the gray shadows crept over the
valley below, crept up the hill sides, crept up over the
' 'top," and the whole earth was enwrapped in a soft twi-
light. Then the heart of the young man was full. There
was nothing else for him to do but to sink on the earth
110 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
beside the seat and pour out to God the fullness of his
The gas had been lighted in the streets of Hungerton
when Marcus entered. He meant first to find the lawyer
who had charge of his small business affairs. He had no
money, and he did not wish to ask for food and lodging
without money to pay. So he walked up the main street,
noting the changes in the town and the people. No one
knew him, although he recognized many of his old-time
friends. There was a peculiar feeling connected with it
all. There he was, a total stranger in a town full of peo-
ple who knew him. They crowded past him on the side-
walk, but knew him not. He must have changed much.
And there was the church. He saw its outlines in
the dark, and there were lights within. Yes; there were
the iron fence and gate. The same lamp-post stood near
it. The trees seemed larger, but the church smaller. He
walked by. People were entering. A block up the street
was the lawyer's home. He would call there, as he would
not likely be at the office.
Marcus rang the bell, and the girl that answered him
said that Mr. Brown, the lawyer, was out of town, but
would be back tomorrow. So until tomorrow Marcus would
have to wait. He went down the street again. People
were still going into the church. Some carriages drove
up and their occupants alighted at the gate. There must
be some special services, or else the people had awakened
to the importance of the week-day meeting. Marcus
MARCUS KING, MORMON. Ill
might as well join the crowd and get a look at the old
church. He went in and found a seat at the rear near the
door. The church was nearly full. The lights shone
brightly, and the many flowers in front filled the room
with their perfume. Being early for flowers, Marcus
wondered at the extravagance. The usher was unknown
to Marcus, so he was allowed to siC unobserved.
For a moment Marcus felt out of place down by the
door. He saw that the pulpit had been re-painted and
upholstered; otherwise it was the same church. The walls
were getting dingy, and some of the.seats showed signs of
wear. It certainly was getting too small for such a crowd
And now the organist who had done faithful service
for both Marcus and his father went to the organ, and the
familiar notes echoed into the ears of Marcus King. They
brought him back again to days gone by when he himself
gave out the hymn and preached the sermon. The pastor
now came in from the back door. He was a middle-aged
man with a cleanly shaven face So that was his successor
in office, thought Marcus. Well, he certainly looked pious
enough to suit the most orthodox. The pastor did not
proceed with the services, but arranged the flowers as if
he was waiting for something. Then Marcus learned from
the whispering around him that he was about to witness a
marriage ceremony/ He wzs somewhat disappointed, as
he had expected to hear the new pastor.
More carriages drive up, and there is a bustle out-
side. The people turn and look towards the door and
whisper, ' 'There they come." The party come up the
walk and into the vestibule where there is some delay.
Then they enter. Marcus does not turn around, but first
112 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
catches sight of them as they walk up the aisle. The man
is tall and broad- shouldered; the girl's slim, graceful figure
is clothed in white. ''The best men" and bridesmaids fol-
low, and Marcus distinguishes among them some of his ac-
quaintances. The parson meets the company in front of
the pulpit, and is arranging them into their proper places
for the ceremony.
Marcus is now interested. He had not married many
couples himself, but he remembered one old pair of fifty
and sixty, and how odd it was for him, a young unmarried
man, to bind together such old peopK But now the group
is arranged, and the young people to be married step to the
front. The gas lamps shine directly on them, and Marcus
sees, apparently looking directly at him, the pale beautiful
face of Alice Merton!
For an instant the whole scene is a blur on his vision;
then from it comes but one sharp outline, the figure of
Alice. She stands there, young and fair and more beautiful
than ever. She folds her hands in front where they hang
listlessly down, as if she were a victim waiting resignedly
for the sacrifice. Her face is white.
The awful truth bursts upon Marcus as with a mighty
flood. There . is Alice, his Alice, to be married, to be
bound for life to the man at her side. The thought
is unbearable. Marcus presses hard the back of the chair
in front of him. Yet there they stand. The parson is
slow in beginning.
During that brief space of time Marcus lived over
again his life with Alice Merton. (Afterwards he thought
of the wonder of it all, how that every detail of years
could be crowd* d into a panorama to be flashed before his
mind in an instant). Then as a climax came again the
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 113
last scene between them. But what could he do? He
was helpless. She would have to go. She would have to
be another's, and not his wife.
The minister steps up to the pair, the woman on the
left, and the man on the right. Then to the hushed
spectators he begins to speak, quoting from the printed
formula used on such occasions:
"Dearly beloved, we are gathered together here in
the sight of God, and in the face of this company, to join
together this man and this woman in holy matrimony;
which is commended of St. Paul to be honorable among
men: and therefore is not by any to be entered into unad-
visedly or lightly; but reverently, discreetly, advisedly,
soberly, and in the fear of God. Into this holy estate
these two persons present come now to be joined. If any
man can show just cause why -they may not lawfully be
joined together, let him now speak, or else hereafter for-
ever hold his peace.
1 'Darling, darling, you are mine, my very own jor
time and for eternity" rang in Marcus' ears louder than
the words of the minister. Those words were inspired
and could not fall to the ground'unfulfilled.
Marcus arose and stepped out in the aisle.
"Alice, Alice Morton, I object to your marrying that
man." he said.
He stood still and erect amid the deathlike silence.
Most of them knew him then by the familiar voice, and
they were awed by the scene. The parson had never
been interrupted like that before, and was visibly uncer-
tain what to do. The bridegroom turned to him and bade
him go on with the ceremony. Then Marcus spoke again
in tones not loud but penetrating:
114 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"I am Marcus King. Alice, do not marry that man.
You are mine, mine, Alice, by the eternal laws of God."
An audible oath escaped from the lips of the would-
be bridegroom. Murmurs ran through the church, then
there was silence again as Alice raised her hands to her
head. She t)ok a step or two forward as if she would
walk down the aisle, and then fell to the floor.
In the confusion which followed Marcus stepped back
to the door, and stood there looking or,. Those that
pa3sed out glared at him, as they would at a venomous rep-
tile. He saw that Alice was lifted up and carried to the
platform, and when she again regained consciousness he
heard her whisper:
"Take me home."
Then he went out and up the street.
For the second time Marcus King had made a great
sensation in his native town. By the next day the news
was the talk of the town. Opinions were various. Some
claimed that he did right in rescuing Alice Merton from
ihe hands of an adventurer. Some said that the Mormon
should have been tarred and feathered and driven from
the country. Others shook their heads and didn't know.
A few had seen Marcus' weatler- stained coat, but more
had observed his majestic bearing as he had stood in the
aisle protesting against the marriage.
Marcus himself had gone that evening direct to a
hotel and ordered supper and a bed.
During the night he slept fairly well, and next morn-
ing managed to reach Mr. Brown's office without a stir on
the street. The business that could be attended to that
morning being soon finished, Marcus went back to the
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 115
hotel where he spent the day reading and writing letters.
Here he heard the gossip and gleaned from it that Alice
had been taken home. The marriage had been indefinitely
postponed. In fact, .the would-be bridegroom had some-
what brusquely demanded ttat the ceremony should go
on, and had quarreled with Alice's old father. Then he
had left, no one knew where, and it was believed by many
that he was afraid of Marcus, that Marcus knew some-
thing more of him than anyone else in Hungerton. When
Marcus was approached on the matter and when he denied
any previous knowledge of the man, plainly he was not
But what move to make next was not clear to Elder
King. He would have to stay a few days in the town, but
what to do about Alice he knew not. He did not repent
of what he had done in the church, for many said that the
man she was about to marry was an adventurer; besides,
he had other and personal reasons. But what good would
come of it, anyway? He longed to boldly call on Alice.
She must be very ill, by what he heard; and he could be-
lieve that from the face he saw in the church. Marcus
had concluded that he must s^e Alice before he left
Hungerton for good, but for that opening he could only
All the day he moved about no more than was neces-
sary; not that he was afraid of anybody, but he considered
it wisdom to be quiet. A few friends called on him, with
whom he talked pleasantly, and told of the new country
in the valleys of the West. That evening he visited some
relatives of John and Eliza Dixon, and got home late. The
next day he was busy with Lawyer Brown until in the
116 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
Looking out of the window of his room, he saw Mr.
Merton drive up to the hotel in the old familiar buggy.
He got out, fastened his horse, and came in. Presently,
there came a knock on the door and a boy told him that
he was wanted.
"Is it Mr. Merton?" asked Marcus.
"Then show him up."
Mr. Merton had aged very much. Marcus could see
that his hair was white and that his hands trembled as he
met him in the hall and led him into his room. The old
man was not angry, but shook the hand that Marcus
offered him in a mild, unconcerned way. Then he took the
proffered chair and sat and looked at Marcus for some
"May I ask you how Alice is?" said Marcus.
"She is ill, very ill, sir."
Still he looked at the young man in that strange
* '! sincerely hope, Mr. Merton, that I was not the
cause of this illness perhaps I should not have been so
rash but you know "
"Yes; I know. Don't worry over that, young man.
Alice was ill all the time, and should not have tried but
he forced it. I might as well tell you the truth, and that
is that you did a good deed in stopping the marriage. I,
Marcus" and as the old man pronounced the word, his
tone became softer "never encouraged Alice in casting
you off, when you joined the Mormons. She did it on her
own responsibility. Are you still a Mormon?"
' 'Well, it's all right, I guess. Everybody to their
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 117
notion abo it such things, though I must say that I think
it would have been much more comfortable if you had re-
mained with us. And now, what I came for is this: Alice
wants to see you. Will you come?"
Marcus' heart gave one great leap for joy.
"It will be the greatest pleasure of my life," said
Marcus, "to once more look upon her face."
"Then you love her yet?"
"I have never ceased to. love her."
"And she loves you, too/' the old man murmured as
they walked into the hall.
In a few minutes Marcus and Mr. Merton were driving
from the city out into a country road which followed the
broad river. Very few words were spoken. Soon they
came in sight of the gray farm house back towards the
hills, up to which they drove. Marcus knew the place
well and remembered its beauty in the summer when the
trees nearly hid it from view; but now it had grown gray
and weather-stained, corresponding to the sombre woods
Marcus alighted at the side door and was met by the
mother. She took his hand and welcomed him, but there
was a coldness about her. She took his hat and gave
him a chair.
"Alice wants to see you/' she said. "If you will ex-
cuse me for a few moments I will see if she is awake/'
During her absence, Mr. Merton came in. While he
was hanging his coat in the hall, he motioned to Marcus.
"You must excuse mother," he said, "if she treats
you coldly. She doesn't understand. She believes in Mr.
Carlton yet, and blames you. She has had great influence
over Alice, and nearly forced her into the marriage, and
118 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
it is only for Alice's sake that she will have you come.
You understand, Marcus?"
"I can appreciate her feelings, I think," was the
answer. ''I do not blame her.'' .
They went in again, and soon the mother came back.
Alice was awake, and feeling strong enough to see Mar-
cus, so he was shown into her room. The mother went
out and closed the door, leaving the two alone. Alice
had asked her to do that.
Tne afternoon sun shone bright and warm, and the
blinds of the large west window were drawn. A ray,
however, came through at the side, and now fell across
the bed where Alice lay propped up on the white pillows.
When she saw him, she said "Marcus!" and held out her
arms. He walked softly up to the bed, bent over her,
and the white arms encircled his neck. She drew his
head down beside hers and held it fast while- she whis-
"Forgive me, Marcus, forgive me!"
But all he could say was "Darling, oh, my darling!"
There are times when many words are weak, mean-
ingless things, and that time had come in the life of Mar-
cus and Alice. Language may communicate thought, but
that was not what was wanted now. The feelings of two
souls had accumulated, and had been pent up for a long
time. The natural channel between two hearts had been
clogged. But now every obstacle was removed, and free-
ly the current of love flowed between them. The emo-
tions are best indicated by a look, a motion, a pressure of
the hand. Words are useless. Silence is the most elo-
Then the arms relaxed and fell down on the coverlet,
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 119
and as Marcus sat by the bedside he took the thin
hands in his and held them gently. The big blue eyes
filled with tears, yet she smiled through them.
"You have forgiven me," she said, "and I thank you,
Then she closed hp.r eyes as if to sleep, and he
smoothed back the hair from her forehead.
"It's been too much for you. You are tired. I
shall go now that you may sleep."
"I am tired, and I believe I could sleep if you will
stay. Marcus you must not go away any more, you must
stay until "
1 'Yes, I will not leave you untill you are well but
don't talk any more. There, now, you must rest."
He kissed her closed eyes and softly left the room.
The father was walking back and forth on the floor; the
mother sat by the table with her face in her hands.
"I think Alice will sleep now," said Marcus."
The father gave a sigh of relief. ' 'She has hardly
slept for two nights, " he said.
The mother also felt better, and was more cheerful
as she walked back and forth from the supper .table to
the door of the sick room, and seemed to feel more kindly
towards Marcus. After supper Alice awoke much re-
freshed. The lamp was lighted and the three went in.
Alice spoke to them in a cheerful way. Then the doctor
came. The father and Marcus went with him outside to
hear his opinion. He shook his head.
"But she is better, isn't she?" asked the father.
"She seems so,this evening; but it is only temporary.
The girl has no vitality. She is all run down. This has
120 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
been with her fo.r a long time. The attempted marriage
only brought the inevitable a little sooner. "
X "Is it that serious, doctor?" asked Marcus somewhat
"I am telling you the truth. I do not care to con-
ceal the facts from you. There are very small chances
of her recovery. She may linger for some time or she
may go rapidly."
Mrs. Merton asked Marcus for Alice's sake to remain
at the farm house. If he was not busy, they would con-
sider it a favor; and Marcus said he would stay as long as
he could be of any use.
The doctor's words could not be doubted. The next
day Alice was weak, weaker than usual; and although
she did not talk much, there was a smile upon her face.
Marcus sat by the bedside and she seemed content when
her hand lay in his. The mother saw, and now under-
stood, and left them alone much of the time.
Spring days came on in rapid succession. The sun
was bright, the winds were warm, and all nature stirred
in its efforts to awake from its wintry sleep. The grass
on the sunny sides of walls and ridges began to be green.
The buds of trees swelled ready to bursting. The bees
came from the hive and buzzed around the windows. The
air was filled with fresh spring odors.
And as everything without slowly awoke to life, so
one within gently sank into death. The spring days went
calmly by, and Marcus was yet at the farm house.
It was one of those still afternoons when the world
seemed taking a much needed rest that Marcus was sit-
ting in his usual place by Alice. They were alone. The
few sounds from the adjoining rooms were low; the loud-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 121
est seemed to come from the little round clock on the
' 'Marcus, bless me again. I want you to talk more
Marcus took from his pocket a vial of oil, anointed
her with a few drops, and then, placing his hands on her
head, blessed her.
4 'Now I feel stronger," she said. "Tell me more
about Joseph Smith and what he did and the angels and
all those wonderful things."
And he talked, quietly and in soft tones, and told her
the whole beautiful story.
"And out there in Utah," she continued, "you said
it was a wild country. Tell me about it."
So he told her of the mountains and the valleys, the
streams and the Great Salt Lake,
"Marcus, that friend of yours Janet. Have you
' 'I think I have a small tintype."
"Will you let me see it?'*
From a packet of letters he drew out the picture and
handed it to her. She looked at it for some time.
It is a good, sweet face; and you like her, don't you,
"She is a good girl."
"Yes; much better than I sh, don't contradict me.
I know. I know a lot now. When I am gone, you will
go back to Utah and marry her."
''My dear Alice "
"Yes; I want you to. It's all right. Bring me that
little box on the dresser."
Marcus brought it.
122 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
"The key is hanging on the wall; yes; that's ic."
She unlocked the small rosewood box and from it
took a letter which she handed to him.
"That letter is from Janet. It is the most wonderful
I havfl ever received. I did not know a girl could write
such a letter and mean it. Did she mean it, Marcus?"
"Janet would deceive no one; but of course I don't
know what she said. ' '
' 'Read it."
Marcus read the letter, and Alice watched his face.
"I think she means every word," he said.
"What does she mean by marriage for time and
Then she closed her eyes, and held the tintype to her
cheek. The mother looked in but did not enter.
Alice reached for his hand, and she held it close.
"Marcus, Marcus, oh, I am so glad! Such light,
such blessed light! I can die in peace."
Then she fumbled in the box again and found a ring
"Do you remember it, Marcus? You gave it to me.
Now I want you to give it to Janet with my love and bles-
Marcus took it, but his heart was too full for words.
The clock ticked on. A breeze pushed the branches
against the window panes. The tintype dropped from the
pale fingers, and Alice slept again.
Marcus stayed with her to the last. The grass and
the trees were green and the first spring flowers were
out when she died. Marcus prevailed on the father and
mother to let her be buried in his own lot, close beside
his mother. The old parents now seemed to cling to Mai-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 123
cus as to a son, and it was a sad day when he bade them
farewell. While at Hungerton Marcus received a call to
another field, and he at once made preparations for the
journey. He held no public meetings in his native town.
The Lord would excuse him for that, he thought; but be-
fore he left he had the rude crosses taken from his parents'
graves and three neatly finished marble stones placed
within the new iron railing around his lot. One of them
stood by a newly made grave, and on it was inscribed, be-
sides the name and dates:
There is no death! What seems so is transition.
This life of mortal breath
Is but a suburb of the life elysian,
Whose portal we call death.
It was one of those sublime winter evenings only seen
in the clear atmosphere of the high western regions. The
whole earth was white below, and the sky above was deep
blue, set. with innumerable twinkling diamond points. To
'the west the plain stretched like a vast sheet of purest
white. To the east the mountains arose buried under
their ermine covering. Every rocky crag, each deep hol-
low, was decked and filled with snow until the otherwise
rough surface was shining smooth.
The well-trodden snow creaked under their feet as
Marcus and Janet walked arm in arm down the principal
street of Hernia.
"What is this business of so much importance?"
124 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
''Well, they didn't tell me, of course," she answered.
' 'All I was to do was to bring you there and ask- no ques-
"Strange, they couldn't manage for another day with-
out getting after a fellow the day he gets home I wanted
to spend the evening with you, Janet."
"Well," she laughed, as she clung the closer to his
arm, "am I not with you?"
"Yes, but halloa, what's this? Who's living in my
"Let's go in and see."
They paused in front of the house Marcus had left
unfinished. He saw that it was now completed. A bright
light gleamed from the windows, and the smoke curled
from the chimney. Janet led down the path and knocked
on the door. When it was opened, there was a room full
"Brothers and sisters," said Janet, "let me introduce
you to the Bishop of Hernia."
Then what a scene there was! The crowd filled two
large rooms, and around he must go and shake every one
by the hand. Then there were welcomes and questions
and words of jolly banter, until Marcus was fairly carried
away by it all. When he had made the rounds, Janet was
again at his side. The older members of the company
each took a candle and marched two by two into the third
room. In the center was a long table spread with food.
As they filed in and seated themselves on the benches on
each side, the candles were placed in wooden blocks with
holes in. Marcus and Janet sat at the head of the table.
A blessing was asked, and then one of Marcus' counselors
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 125
made a speech of welcome, to which Marcus replied in a
Then the eating began, and right merrily it went on for
a time. Suddenly, in the midst of the confusion, somebody
pounded on the table for order, and Brother Wood arose.
"I want to speak in this meetin'," he began, " 'cause
Brother Johnson didn't tell it all. I reckon Brother King
ought'er know why we have took such liberties with his
house, an' I want ter tell him." [*' That's right. Go ahead".]
"Well, yer see, when a man's on a mission his affairs
at home kinder stop, an' when he gits back, he has to be-
gin all over again. I've seen it lots o' times." ["Hear,
hear! So have /."]
"So, thinks I, Brother King'll need a house when he
comes home to put his wife in, 'cause then o' course he'll
take fur good Brother Brigham's advice. [Loud applause.]
Well, an' right now I must make a confession. All you
folks thought I had orders from Brother King to go ahead
with the house, but I didn't; I done it on my own hook.
["Oh, oh"] Yes, I could see that the Bishop didn't know
nothin' about buildin' log houses, an' that the way he was
doin' it would spile a lot o' good logs, so while all his
beautiful plans and drawin's on paper was locked up in his
box, I went to work an' finished this house 'cording to my
notion." [Tremendous applause and laughter.]
"An' folks," with a wave of his hand, "I tell ye, with
the 'ception of the meetin'house, it's the finest in the
town. It has all the latest improvements an' "
His speech, which was the longest he had ever been
known to make, was interrupted by a burst of song from
the other rooms, and Brother Wood had to sit down.
So the evening passed, and at its close Marcus again
126 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
thanked them all, and especially Brother Wood. Marcus
and Janet stood by the door and shook each one by the
hand as they went home.- John and Eliza were the last.
"You folks go on home," said John to Marcus. "We'll
see to the house."
Marcus wrapped Janet's cloak about her with a tender
touch, and they walked home in the starlight.
The next afternoon it snowed. Marcus went over to
Janet's. She was alone. The grate was full of a warm
fire. The little room looked very much the same as it did
three years ago. Janet must have expected company.
She did not wear her working dress, and there was just a
tiny wave in her hair.
"Janet," said Marcus, "I believe you have grown.
You look taller.''
You must be mistaken; but I have had fine health.
Haven't been sick a day. Perhaps that accounts for it."
"You certainly look well; and Janet, you have grown
"0 shame, Marcus, to tell such stories!"'
He sat down by the blazing hearth, placed a chair
near him and motioned Janet to take it. Then they sat
for some time looking into the fire.
4 'You got my letters that I wrote after leaving
''Would you like to see a picture nf Alice?" He took
it from his pocket and handed it to her.
"It agrees with my mental picture. I thought she
looked like that."
Then they talked for some time about his experiences,
and the affairs at home.
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 127
"Who was that man Alice was about to marry?"
"Didn't I tell you his name? Let me see. I've nearly
forgotten it. Oh, yes, it was Carlton, George Carlton, I
"Why, Marcus, that was the name of my but no, it
couldn't be the same man."
"He was a tall, broad-shouldered, black-haired man.
I saw him only once in the church."
"It must have been. I heard he had gone in the
direction of Hungerton, but, but how strange! The
man to whom I was once engaged answered to the same
name and description."
"That is strange. Could it have heen the same fel-
4 'But that's all in the past, and I don't like to talk
about it," said she.
"Then we won't."
"Tell me more about Alice. " She looked again at
the photograph. He drew a ring from his pocket, took
her hand, and tried it on her finger.
"Does it fit?" he asked.
"That was Alice's ring."
"And do you want me to wear it?"
"Alice sent it to you. One of her last requests was
that I give you the ring with her love and blessing."
"Thank you. Poor, dear Alice! I shall wear it al-
"She got your letter as I told you, and pondered long
over it. She died with full faith in the Gospel and a fair
128 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
understanding of its principles. When we go to the En-
dowment House we must do her work for her."
"Yes, certainly. I have thought of the same."
Then the door softly opened and someone stole in
and placed one hand over each of their eyes.
''Guess who it is."
* 'Mother," exclaimed both at once.
"Then don't sit the fire out," said Sister Harmon.
A bright, sunshiny, winter morning Marcus and Janet
drove to town in the sleigh, and spent the day in the En-
dowment House. There were in reality two marriage
ceremonies performed, and Marcus King got two wives in
one day. True, one of those wives was in the spirit
world; but the feeling that Alice was to be his was proved
to be true. His prediction was fulfilled, and he was
serenely happy in the thought. Janet Harmon's joy was
also full, for had she not done a sister's part, and done it
And now, dear reader, if you have been patient with
me thus far, I must tell you a secret a secret that I
have been tempted more than once to betray, but which, I
think, I have kept pretty well until now and that is that
I, Marcus King, have personally written the pages of this
little story. I began this writing with no other idea than
to keep the narrative in the third person until the end,
but as I progressed, I saw that if I did so one of the chief
results to be attained by my story would not be realized.
Let me explain. Shortly after I joined the Church
of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints many of my former
friends began to talk disparagingly of me. Some criticised
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 129
me severely, calling me a turn- coat, a deserter from my
father's cause, and so forth. Some of my readers may
remember how many of the leading religious papers of the
East railed against me. At the time I paid no attention
to it. Lately I received a clipping from an eastern paper
purporting to be an account of my career. Who could have
invented such stuff, I cannot conceive. At the same time
I have received a number of letters inquiring about me.
Seemingly, many people are interested in me and my do-
ings, and it occurred to me to write out somewhat of my
story and print it. Now if any of my eastern friends care
a twenty-five cent piece to know the true state of affairs,
I shall be pleased to mail each of them a copy of my book.
So- much for preface, sandwiched in here at the wrong
But just a word to my unbelieving friends:
Someone has said that the glory of life is its fulness.
I believe that. Had I remained with you in the world, I
should no doubt have had a much easier time. I could
have lived and died in Hungerton, respected by you all.
I could have gone my daily rounds from my library to the
church, wanting nothing to make life one smooth, pleas-
ant journey if God had not shown me the little pond in
which I was playing, the frail boat in which I was sailing,
and then the mighty, boundless ocean beyond the horizon
of my limited vision. I say with that little "if," I could
have been with you yet, but what would have entered into
my life to develop it, to give it a rounded fulness! Dear
friends, believe me, this life is a reality. It is meant to
be something. We are here to do and not merely to say,
to'act and not merely to believe. To be good and true
is not to draw a long face, to be religious is not to be
130 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
stupid; but I have already expressed myself on that point
to one of your members, as I have recorded in a previous
Again, some of you ha\e impugned my motives. My
only answer to that is in my story,
And now, to all interested, (and I hope my story has
been of interest to my brethren and sisters also) I am
writing these last pages some years after the close of the
events narrated in the first part of this chapter; and
as I look back on those few intervening years I will tell
you what I know of my (and I hope of our) friends who
have figured thus far in my story.
First, I must tell you that I have built an addition to
my house. It is of brick and a story and a half high. I
write these lines by an open upper window,looking out west-
ward toward the lake. It was a hard blow to Brother
Wood to think that his house wasn't good enongh for me,
and I had to explain to him that a bishop needed much
room to entertain all his visitors. We have no children
yet, and I could not use the argument of a growing fam-
ily. I shall not tear down the log house until Brother
I have corresponded regularly with Alice's parents,
and whenever missionaries have visited them they have
been kindly treated. It was just last month that I re-
ceived news of their baptism. Old as they are, they
would not wait longer, and now they are anxious to come
to Utah; but IJiave told them not to attempt the journey
yet. The railroad will soon be finished, and then they
can come much easier. And so they are waiting.
Henry Sanford was the same staunch friend to the
Elders, but did not join the Church. Noie gave them a
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 131
warmer welcome nor defended them more from persecu-
tion than he. When the war broke out, he joined the
army, and in the long, hard struggle which has just closed
he must have met his death. I have not heard from
Certainly strange things happen. Last week I bap-
tized Robert James. He now lives here in Hernia, and is
one of the best workers in the ward. He wandered about
the country for years, but he acknowledges to me that he
could not escape from Mormonism. So he gave it up,
humbled himself, and came back. He is very quiet and
unassuming, but everybody knows that I am one of his
converts. So they respect him, and he is now the hap-
piest man in the settlement.
Mother Harmon died a year ago.
John Dixon is a prosperous farmer. His barns and
granaries are growing. They need to; his family is in the
1 Hernia is prosperous. The people give the credit to
the Bishop, but the Bishop gives it to his wife, and his
wife to the Lord.
Just a word about the meetinghouse. The people
finished it according to my plans, and even exceeded them
in elegance. The trees are now quite large, and the ivy is
creeping up the walls and over the roof. None can esti-
mate the refining influence that house has had on our peo-
ple, and especially the young portion. I can see a vast
difference between our young folks and some I know in
the neighboring settlements.
And that Mr. Carlton
"Never mind that Mr. Carlton."
It was Janet. She had been looking over my shoul-
132 MARCUS KING, MORMON.
der, and if there is anything that bothers me, it is that.
I might have been vexed with her, but she now leaned
over so far that her cheek touched mine.
"Well, I'll not say anything about him, then/' I
4 'No; don't."
"Then I guess I'd better write The End.'"
"No, not yet. I think you have to either make a
change in a back page or an explanation now."
"What do you mean?"
Janet picked up a sheet of the manuscript and read:
" % Marcus King, have personally written the pages of
''That's wrong, because I wrote some of it," she
I stared at her, not knowing what she meant. Then
she looked over my pile of papers and picked out some
sheets of an earlier chapter from which she read that
Marcus King was thought of as having "high ideals,"
"nobility of character," and so forth. I took the sheets
from her, and there, sure enough, was her handwriting
for a page or more; and she had connected the thought so
"Well," said I, "it would have been foolish of Marcus
King to have said that about himself."
"But it is true," said my wife, "and with your ex-
planation it may stand."
"I put the leaves back in their place. Janet came
around, pushed the table away from me, and sat down on
"Look at that beautiful sunset," she said.
We do have grand sunsets at Hernia. I cannot con-
MARCUS KING, MORMON. 133
ceive of any finer even in Italian skies. There was a
bank of heavy pearl-white clouds in the west, which
formed themselves into great domes and high mountains
with fathomless chasms between. Then the edges of the
upper layers were tinged with pink which grew to a shin-
ing golden red. As the sun sank lower, and its rays got
under the cloudland, mountains and domes turned into a
brilliant burning red, and then it seemed that there was
another world out in space being consumed with fire. The
crimson sun dropped down behind the mountain,yet the sky
was all ablaze.
"What do you think of it, Janet?"
4 It is grand, it is grand! I think it is a faint reflec-
tion from the glory of God."
THE UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, SANTA CRUZ
This book is due on the last DATE stamped below.